WCHM welcomed the announcement on 9th December by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, of an amendment to the Medicare Benefits Scheme to improve access and affordability of eating disorders treatment across Australia. That is because in 2018 the Butterfly Foundation conducted research about the cost of eating disorders treatment in Australia which showed that 1 in 3 people go into debt and 1 in 4 people delay or stop treatment because of the cost.
The new Medicare Benefits Scheme support for eating disorders will commence on 1 November 2019, and will include:
- A dedicated single Medicare Benefits Scheme item number for eating disorder treatment for those with severe and complex illness, delivering up to 60 Medicare funded sessions of treatment – 40 psychotherapeutic and 20 dietetic across the range of eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and atypical presentations; and
- Diagnosis by a GP and mental health practitioner recognizing that these psychiatric illnesses have a significant physical impact and integrated treatment is essential.
You can read more about eating disorders at here.