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Free and unlimited mental health in Medicare

Adam Bandt 20 Sep 2021

The Greens have today announced that in balance of power after the next election, they will push to
tackle the growing mental health crisis in Australia by making mental healthcare free and unlimited for
everyone who needs it as part of Medicare.

The plan, which will create universal, unlimited and available mental healthcare through Medicare, will
be funded by taxing billionaires and big corporations making big profits.

Our plan will ensure everyone can access mental healthcare, when they need it, not when they can
afford it.

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Not enough to fix broken aged care and mental health systems, fails to address poverty

“This budget is a surplus of scatter gun approaches and tinkering around the edges. 
 
“This is a budget that continues the ongoing disdain this Government has for people who have been doing it tough for a long time and for whom things have only got worse due to the global pandemic and recession: people on income support, older women, young people, single parents and disabled people.
 

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Back to the Future on Health Care

This budget fails Australian patients, has zero vision for the future of the system and is a political fix, pure and simple. The Government’s plan to lift the Medicare freeze will have no impact for patients for at least a year, if not longer, leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said.

“Greg Hunt’s ‘road map’ for health lacks any vision for the future of healthcare in this country. It’s a U-turn that takes us back to where we were three years ago. 

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Abbott government cuts lead to axing of high-performing SA community health program

The Greens say it is deplorable that Abbott Government's health cuts will lead to the loss of an $8 million community care program and force mentally ill patients in South Australia to spend more time in hospitals.

Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health and Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said that the government has pulled the rug out from under this program that works, has been cost-effective, and significantly improves the lives of South Australians.

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Mental health funding extension not a long-term solution

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (17:05): I do thank the Minister Ley for her response, but in her response to the resolution the minister refers to her decision to give a 12-month funding extension to so-called front-line mental health services. While mental health organisations did welcome this funding extension, it is not by any means a long-term solution. It came far too late for many.

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The Abbott Government must address unmet mental health needs

I move that the Senate-

(a) welcomes, after significant delay, the release of the National Mental Health Commission's Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which found:

(i) mental health care in Australia often comes too late, is fragmented, fails to prevent crisis situations, and often does not take into account a person's broader social needs,

(ii) inadequate responses to significantly higher rates of mental distress, trauma, suicide and intentional self-harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and

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Mental health report leaked: now it's time for action

The Australian Greens have called for a national conversation about mental health care reform following the leaked National Health Commission's review of mental health services.

Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Penny Wright said too many reviews of the sector had been ignored by previous governments.

"The Abbott Government must now release the full report and lead a genuine community discussion around long-term reform of the mental health system," Senator Wright said.

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