Physical Health in Psychosis
Following Psychosis Australia’s 2022 Symposium on Action on physical health in Psychosis, the Board had the following recommendations submitted to the Federal Government.
Immediate specific actions
- Add serious psychotic disorders to list of eligible conditions funded under Medicare Item 705 (long health assessment) and 707 (prolonged health assessment).
- Create new MBS item numbers similar to Eating Disorders Plan numbers that enable GPs to prepare and review a plan that gives access to funding for dieticians, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists and podiatrists. Ensure that funding is sufficient so that that there are no out-of-pocket expenses for patients. This could be called the Serious Psychotic Disorder Plan.
- Create a new indication for metformin. Currently, it is only TGA approved for Type 2 diabetes where lifestyle changes have not been effective. A new indication is needed for treatment or prevention of antipsychotic weight gain when lifestyle modification is insufficient or not feasible. This is recommended by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and by many international organisations
- Increase the Medicare rebate for GPs to encourage bulk billing of people with serious psychotic disorders.
- Expand the number of funded Allied Health sessions available under the Chronic Disease Management Plan from 5 to 20. Additionally, increase the payment for Allied Health Professionals so that there are no out-of-pocket expenses for patients
- Medicare funding of dental care, at least for people with a serious psychotic disorder.
These recommendations were developed by the Board of Psychosis Australia following a symposium and workshop that involved clinicians, researchers, and people with lived experience. Equally Well was represented at the event and these recommendations also draw on the Being Equally Well Implementation Action Plan.