Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Community

Buying or selling? Get the right advice

Psychiatry in Canberra.

By Myself 7 May 2009 70

Why is it that there are no bulk billing psychiatrists in canberra any more?

Mine has just decided to go from $0.00 to $200.00 just to write a script.

What concerns me is the unavailability of psychiatric care for people other than the rich or extremely poor. 

Upset….. 

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
70 Responses to
Psychiatry in Canberra.
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
hmmm 10:21 pm 09 Sep 10

Oh, and $200 would be BEFORE the Medicare rebate, unless you’re not an Australian citizen/have the appropriate visa etc.
It is a shame that you had to pay this upfront – lots of people just need to pay the gap.

hmmm 10:19 pm 09 Sep 10

Wickerman, you are a moron.
You have no idea what Psychiatrists do.
I really hope that you never have a mental illness, and need the help of a Psychiatrist. You would be a nightmare to treat.
To the “GP” – you must be an AMAZING GP to not need to refer to Psychiatrists. I wonder if you do all your own surgery, pathology and radiology yourself, too. I also wonder why Psychiatric training is 5 years long (as a bare minimum), and GP training is only 2 years… may reflect knowledge base???
Just so you know, Psychiatrists are REAL doctors (hence the Dr in front of their names), and do order blood tests, CTs, MRIs, EEGs to help diagnose disorders. And they don’t need their GP friends to help them interpret the results.
Sounds like Canberra’s mental health system is strained due to the huge amount of workload, and minimal funding from the government. It is the same everywhere, unfortunately.

jdmal 1:31 pm 07 Sep 10

You may be able to see a psychiatrist for free through A.C.T Mental Health.

Bosworth 12:43 pm 07 Sep 10

do a google search for “carmel underwood”

Pommy bastard 11:34 am 07 Sep 10

wickerman said :

I wonder how many patients end up at a psychiatrist because medicine couldnt find any pathology, ie, how many people in chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndrome. People also forget it wasnt that long ago ladies who complained too loudly about PMT were referred for psychiatric evaluation. Same thing goes on today but for different complaints.

I wonder how many of these people were diagnosed correctly and gained treatment and advice for their condition from a psychiatrist? I know my sister who suffers chronic pain has had little relief other than the coping strategies and calmative medication she got from a psychiatrist.

Your idiotic bias against psychiatry shines through.

wickerman 10:51 am 07 Sep 10

Antagonist said :

Wickerman: everything you have presented here is based on hearsay. Nothing relates to your own first hand experiences with psychiatry. You say you are not, but you sure sound like every other crackpot Scientologist I have met.

With love and sloppy kisses. Your local ‘suppressive person’.

Sorry i sound like a scientologist but I am not. I have no interest in that sought of thing. If people are happy with their psychiatrist experience that is good and how it should be.

I wonder how many patients end up at a psychiatrist because medicine couldnt find any pathology, ie, how many people in chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndrome. People also forget it wasnt that long ago ladies who complained too loudly about PMT were referred for psychiatric evaluation. Same thing goes on today but for different complaints.

I wasnt commenting on just on hearsay. Think about the money that is made from drugs and expensive consultations. Theres no diagnostic tests. Often you are given a tick the box survey to fill out. They dont know how the drugs work. The drugs are carefully formulated for max profit. People with valid medical conditions are pushed over to psychiatry because no pathology was found. They cash in on the vulnerable and tell them things like your pain in your back comes from being depressed. Ever asked a Dr what depression is? Each Dr has a somewhat different view of what depression is.

Its just one of the shady industries we have to put up with. Because there is so much money to be made there wont be a rush to review their practices in the near future.

Quokka 11:06 pm 13 Aug 10

Jethro said :

“Researchers at the Rand Corp. in 2002 surveyed close to 700 adults who had received a prescription for an antidepressant. Of those who reported receiving the medication for depression, just 20% tested positive when screened for the disease. Fewer than 30% of those receiving the medication had any depressive symptoms at all.” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/200905/overprescribing-antidepressants) (Yes, American study, I know… would not be the same here since our ban on advertising for prescription drugs)

Are you able to provide the link to the original Rand Corp article? I tried searching the website at http://www.rand.org but couldn’t find it. It may have been that the respondents returned the survey after they completed their treatment, in which case only 20% of the respondents having depression would actually be a good outcome!

I did actually find another article from Rand Corp on their website that stated that “only 20 to 30 percent of depressed patients seen in general medical practice were prescribed antidepressant medication. Among those who did receive a prescription, almost one-third were prescribed a subtherapeutic dose.” http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4522/index1.

So rather than over-treatment, it seems there are many that end up missing out on effective treatment. Apparently the majority of patients with mental illness receive very little treatment whatsoever (62% according to the Mental Health Council of Australia – http://www.humanrights.gov.au/disability_rights/health/MHCA.doc)

Recommendations to the Australian Senate suggest that funding to Mental Health should be more than doubled and receive 14% of total health funding, rather than the 6% that is directed towards treatment of mental illness currently. (http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/fapa_ctte/coag_health_reforms/report/footnotes.htm#c05f2).

Of course, medication is only a part of an effective treatment package and more money needs to be spent on all areas of treating mental illness. (e.g., psychological treatments, vocational support, supported accommodation, support for carers, etc)

JumpingTurkey 6:49 pm 13 Aug 10

@Jethro
You made some good points there.
I agree that there are many cases where perhaps a better approach to one’s stress / depressive symptoms or anxiety might have been simple reassurance, advice on lifestyle measures, and offering them to speak to a kind counseller or a psychologist.
Perhaps the use of anti-depressants mirrors the over-use of antibiotics for coughs and colds. I think the main reason for over use of antibiotics for coughs and colds are due to:
(1) The fact that it is lot easier for GPs to prescribe something rather than spending 5 minutes discussing differences between viral and bacterial illnesses and discussing symptomatic treatments. This might ring true for antidepressants where giving out medications and changing around medications and changing doses are far easier and convenient than not doing so and spending far longer time discussing non medication strategies.
(2) The fact that many people also find it easier to take something rather than doing the had yards. People want fast fixes. This is especially the case if you are paying a lot of money and waited a long time to see a doctor. They may not feel particularly good if all they are told is: “here go home and rest and take panadol, I cannot do anything for you”, or “here, you need to go and see this psychologist 12 times over the next 2 months, plus you need to cut back on your alcohol, smoking, caffeine, increase regular exercise, force yourself to meet people even if you don’t feel like it and get up in the morning”. They’d feel lot better and it will be far easier to pop a pill that a doctor has prescribed for you.
This is particularly the case if the actual condition doesn’t improve. Let me tell you, it does not feel good to see patients who return 3 days after being told that ‘its just a virus, take panadol, rest and fluids’ with worse symptoms, and there I have reach out for my script pad and prescribe antibiotics. While objectively speaking there is nothing wrong with the care that was provided and the treatment that was given, but you do feel some patients thinking in their heads ‘oh so now he gives me antibiotics, should’ve given this to me earlier’.
Similar thing may happen with psychiatrists. And stakes could be higher if someone then goes home without any medications and then kills himself / herself.

While I am not trying to say that these are valid reasons to continue oversubscribing I am just giving everyone here a picture of the complex picture of why some of these kinds of things may be happening. Hopefully you’ll come to the same realisation that these issues are not issues that can easily be addressed by extra ‘education’ or ‘training’ of psychiatrists or even of drug companies.

Jethro 6:08 pm 13 Aug 10

I think I’m being misunderstood. I’m not having a go a psychiatrists, other than saying I think there may be a tendency to over-prescribe drugs that can have serious side effects. My argument is more with the pharmaceutical industry, which is after all, a for-profit industry (hence wants as many customers as possible).

There is ample evidence that prescription medication is used for mental illnesses when there are other avenues that should be tried first.

“Researchers at the Rand Corp. in 2002 surveyed close to 700 adults who had received a prescription for an antidepressant. Of those who reported receiving the medication for depression, just 20% tested positive when screened for the disease. Fewer than 30% of those receiving the medication had any depressive symptoms at all.” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/200905/overprescribing-antidepressants) (Yes, American study, I know… would not be the same here since our ban on advertising for prescription drugs)

In terms of this type of medication being used in Australia… “it has been estimated that more than 50,000 Australian children are presently taking prescription drugs for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. Between 1991 and 1998 prescriptions for dexamphetamine, the most popular stimulant used for ADHD in Australia, increased by 2400 percent.”

(http://www.theparentingcentre.com.au/index.php/celebrate/46-bobs-articles/66-australian-children-at-risk citing Law and Policy Journal of the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre (Australia). September 2002)

That is a significant increase that we shouldn’t just be accepting without question.

Ultimately, I am saying that as a society we may rely too much on the ‘cure-all’ allure of prescription drugs. The fact that so many contributors on here seem to just accept the alarmingly high level at which we medicate ourselves and, more significantly, our children is a little alarming. Medications like Ritalin for ADHD are not the same as antibiotics or contraception pills. They are designed to interfere with the functioning of the brain and are often based on little more than observation and comparison with ‘norms.’ The reliance on these types of drugs for juvenile or adolescent behavioural problems is something we should be concerned about.

JumpingTurkey 3:29 pm 13 Aug 10

Errr…
I’m pretty sure that Clinical Psychologists use all sorts of tools / surveys in their diagnosis and in treatment, but I doubt that many psychiatrists would use these… their diagnosis and management is based on a psychiatric interview.

Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that this is bad – good, experienced psychiatrists can be very good.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site