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The Better Access initiative and the role of GPs


In 2006, the Commonwealth Government introduced Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative. Better Access aims to improve health outcomes through targeted treatment of people with a clinically diagnosed mental illness.

How does the Better Access initiative work?


The Better Access initiative entitles people with an assessed mental illness to access Medicare rebated psychological services. From 9 October 2020 until 30 June 2022, eligible patients with an assessed mental illness can access 10 additional psychological therapy sessions under the Better Access initiative.

In order to access these sessions, patients will be required to:

Approved Better Access providers include:


Renewing a patient’s GP MHTP


GP MHTPs do not expire at the end of a calendar year, so the patient does not need a new plan to continue their GP MHTP into the next calendar year unless the referring practitioner considers it is clinically required.

This means that a patient can continue to be eligible for rebated psychological services in the next calendar year under their existing plan if the referring GP assesses that the patient continues to need these services.

Generally, new plans should not be developed within 12 months of the previous plan, unless the referring practitioner considers it clinically required.

A GP can assess and manage the patient’s progress and write a new referral for further services using any of the following items:

Mental illnesses applicable under Better Access initiative


The training accredited by the GPMHSC provides the fundamental skills required to assess a patient’s needs, recommend appropriate referral options and manage a patient’s ongoing mental healthcare.

At the time of publishing, the following mental illnesses/disorders are eligible for treatment under Better Access initiative, as per the International classification of diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10).

Refer to the International classification of diseases 10th revision (ICD-10) when it is released for up-to-date information.


Mental illnesses not applicable under Better Access initiative include:


Although these are not mental illnesses applicable under the Better Access initiative, GPs can address them when patients who present with mental illness have comorbidity with one or more of these conditions.