Mental health-specific services

Services

There were 11.7 million Medicare-subsidised mental health-specific services provided to 2.5 million Australians in 2017–18. Further details of the characteristics of these services are described below. Victoria (535.6 services per 1,000 state specific population) had the highest rate of services, and Northern Territory (144.9) had the lowest, compared with the national rate (471.2) (Figure MBS.4).

 
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Figure MBS.4 Alternative text - Source data: Medicare subsidised mental health-related services 2017–18 tables (134KB XLS)

Australians aged 35–44 years (64.6 per 100 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 (23.4) who had the lowest usage rate. Females had a higher rate of service usage than males (58.0 and 36.1 services per 100 sex specific population, respectively). People who usually live in major city areas had the highest rate of service use (51.1 per 100 remoteness area population), with rates decreasing by remoteness (Figure MBS.5).

 
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Figure MBS.5 Alternative text - Source data: Medicare subsidised mental health-related services 2017–18 tables (134KB XLS)

Average number of services per patient

Patients in the Northern Territory (2.9 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 (5.0) among the age groups and patients aged less than 15 years (4.2) had the lowest. Females (4.7) averaged more services per patient than males (4.4).

Over time

The total number of Medicare-subsidised mental-health specific services increased from 6.2 million in 2008–09 to 11.7 million in 2017–18; an increase from 290.1 services per 1,000 population in 2008–09 to 471.2 in 2017–18. The increase in the rate of services was mostly due to increases in services provided by GPs (increase of 2 million from 2008-09 to 2017–18), followed by Psychological Therapy Services involving clinical psychologists( 1.4 million), and other psychology services involving clinical psychologists and other psychologists (1.3 million). Further information on the new items that were added under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative in 2006–07 can be found in the data source section.

 
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