Mental health-specific services

Services

There were 11.1 million Medicare-subsidised mental health-specific services provided to Australians in 2016–17. Victoria (527.6 services per 1,000 state specific population) had the highest rate of services, and Northern Territory (141.8) had the lowest, compared with the national rate (456.7) (Figure MBS.4).

Source data: Medicare subsidised mental health-related services 2016–17 tables (3.4MB XLS)

Australians aged 35–44 years (635.1 per 1,000 age specific population) had the highest rate of Medicare-subsidised mental health-specific service use across the age range, compared with people aged less than 15 years (215.6) who had the lowest usage rate. Females had a higher rate of service usage than males (560.8 and 350.9 services per 1,000 sex specific population, respectively). Non-Indigenous Australians (472.2 per 1,000 non-Indigenous population) had a higher rate of service usage compared with Indigenous Australians (371.1), noting the data coverage issues relating to the Voluntary Indigenous Identifier (see the Data source section for further information). People who usually live in major city areas had the highest rate of service use (495.3 per 1,000 remoteness area population), with rates decreasing by remoteness (Figure MBS.5).

Source data: Medicare subsidised mental health-related services 2016–17 tables (3.4MB XLS)

Average number of services per patient

Patients in the Northern Territory (3.0 services per patient) had the lowest average number of Medicare-subsidised mental health-specific services per patient, compared with the national average of 4.6 services per patient. People aged 55–64 years had the highest average number of services per patient (5.1) among the age groups and patients aged less than 15 years (4.3) had the lowest. Females (4.8) averaged more services per patient than males (4.4), and non-Indigenous people (4.7 services per patient) had a higher average number of services compared with Indigenous people (3.3).

Over time

The total number of Medicare-subsidised mental-health specific services increased from 6.2 million in 2008–09 to 11.1 million in 2016–17; an increase from 290.1 service per 1,000 population in 2008–09 to 456.7 in 2016–17. The increase in the rate of services was mostly due to increases in services provided by GPs followed by clinical and other psychologists. (See the data source section for further information on the new items were added under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative in 2006–07).

Source data: Medicare subsidised mental health-related services 2016–17 tables (3.4MB XLS)