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Policy report

Being equally well

A national policy roadmap to better physical health care and longer lives for people living with serious mental illness
General practice Primary health care Mental health Medical screening Public health Life expectancy Australia

This report from a number of leading health experts recommends major improvements to primary healthcare services in Australia to stop people with serious mental illnesses from dying between 14 and 23 years earlier than other Australians.

Developed in partnership with GPs, psychiatrists, mental-health consumers and carers, and other health professionals, the roadmap lays out changes to how medical services can work, including:

  • implementing shared care between psychiatrists and GPs, and with pharmacists to manage mental and physical health together
  • mental health nurse navigators, to support people in navigating the complex health system
  • Medicare Benefits Scheme funding for GPs to set up dedicated supports to ensure regular health checks and screening, as well as treatment of chronic conditions
  • ending gap payments for medication, including for cardiovascular diseases risk reduction medication and nicotine patches
  • establishing a federally funded national clinical quality registry to support and monitor improvements in life expectancy for people with serious mental illnesses and
  • establishing a national Office for Quality in Physical and Mental Healthcare Outcomes.
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