The Morrison Government is providing more than $35.9 million to ensure communities affected by the East Coast flood can continue to access vital health services and additional mental health support.
The widespread floods in Queensland and New South Wales have had a devastating effect – and the impacts on many thousands of Australians will be felt for years to come.
The Morrison Government is providing $31.2 million over two years for additional mental health support for Australians effected by the floods. This includes:
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said these measures will ensure immediate and longer-term mental health support for individuals, families, and communities affected by the disaster, and will also include a range of community recovery initiatives.
“Importantly, this package of support will be provided over the next two years because we know support won’t just be needed in the next few months, and people living in flood-affected regions of QLD and NSW will need substantial ongoing support,” Minister Hunt said.
“Mental health is one of the Morrison Government’s highest priorities and we will continue to ensure that all Australians can access the mental health support and treatment they need, no matter where they are.”
The Morrison Government is providing $4.7 million to ensure continuity of primary health care services for flood-impacted Australians, particularly in worst hit communities.
MBS telehealth continues to be available across affected regions. An exemption has been made to normal MBS rules so people in flood-affected regions don’t have to have an existing relationship with a GP to access MBS-subsidised telehealth services (video and phone).
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in significantly flood affected regions will be funded to support their emergency response activities. In particular, the PHNs will work with primary health care providers in their regions and with relevant state and local agencies to help ensure affected communities are able to access urgent primary and mental health care services.
In the severely impacted northern NSW community of Lismore, locum support for general practices and pharmacies will bolster the local workforce and assist in providing continuity of health care for residents where a number of general practices and pharmacies have been forced to close.
Temporary shared practice accommodation is also being established in Lismore for displaced primary health care providers, including general practitioners, pharmacists, allied health providers, mental health service providers and dentists.
Original content from the Hon Greg Hunt MP media page. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.