Mental Health Services Utilisation - A National Equity Investigation

Australia provides national health insurance funding for psychological treatment services, and this funding has increased substantially since 2006. Concerns have been raised as to whether these funded services are distributed equitably such that populations characterised by poorer socio-economic status, where mental health typically is poorer, receive greater servicing. Alternatively the situation might be more one of operation of an inverse-care law where the better off receive more services. The results clearly show significant disparities in non-GP mental health Medicare funded services, whereby people residing in lower socio-economic areas are utilisation services at much lower rates compared to advantaged areas.


Meadows G, Enticott J, Inder B, Russell G, Gurr R. Better access to mental health care and the failure of the Medicare principle of universality. Medical Journal of Australia. 2015;202(4):190-5.

Meadows G, Enticott J, Rosenberg S. Three charts on: why rates of mental illness aren’t going down despite higher spending 2018. The Conversation.

This piece has had extensive media attention including being discussed in the New York Times.

Prevalence of psychological distress: How do Australia and Canada compare?
Enticott, J. C., Lin, E., Shawyer, F., Russell, G., Inder, B., Patten, S. & Meadows, G. 1 Mar 2018 In : Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 52, 3, p. 227-238 12
This paper was awarded the Editor's best pick.

Mental disorders and distress: Associations with demographics, remoteness and socioeconomic deprivation of area of residence across Australia. Enticott, J. C., Meadows, G. N., Shawyer, F., Inder, B. & Patten, S. B. Dec 2016 In : Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 50, 12, p. 1169-1179 11

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