Implementation has begun on the Government’s Flexible Care Packages for people with severe mental illnesses.
$58.5 million was allocated in the 2010-11 Budget to provide funding for Flexible Care Packages to provide clinical and case coordination services to better support people with severe mental illness in the community delivered through Medicare Locals.
Clinical services include psychological therapy provided by specially trained providers, such as psychologists and social workers, who will be encouraged to link patients to other services in the community for people with severe illness.
CEO of the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN), David Butt, says "It’s encouraging to have these Flexible Care Packages available to the first 15 Medicare Locals and
indicative of a Government that wants to see a fundamental change in the delivery of mental health services in which there is a shift towards the primary health care sector rather than a reliance upon the acute sector."
“These Flexible Care Packages will boost the effectiveness of the primary health care sector and enable service providers to manage patients in a community setting that integrates and coordinates their care at the community level rather than isolating their care to the acute sector."
Read the Department of Health and Ageing media release here
Read the AGPN response here