We’ve written before in detail about our pricing and why we had to change our fees, why we need to charge a gap. Because while GP’s have been screaming loudly – and often their voice is heard in mainstream media – Counsellors, Psychologists and other Allied Mental Health Practitioners have not been so lucky.
Thankfully that appears to have started to change, with a recent article by The Guardian titled Bulk-billing psychologists earn as little as $12 an hour.
“It is pretty much impossible to run a clinic as a bulk-billing psychologist,”– a Psychologist in the Same Guardian article
Our clinic faces much the same issue, except as Accredited Mental Health Social Workers providing Counselling the rebate from Medicare is around $10 less than seeing a Psychologist.
We try to mitigate the impact this has on our clients by providing choice. Telehealth for example has less overheads, no room fees, no travel, is convenient for both the Counsellor and the Client so we offer it at a discount price ($160 vs $210 for Face to Face). And overall our fees are considerably lower than the $240 per hour rate recommended by the AASW.
So while we absolutely believe all Australians should have free Healthcare, including Mental Health care, the current Medicare rebates make that impossible and Clinics like ours either need to charge a Gap or shut down.