APHA welcomes leadership focus on mental health

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The Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) has welcomed the federal government's decision to create a new deputy chief medical officer role with a focus on mental health.

CEO Michael Roff congratulated Associate Professor Ruth Vine on her appointment. “APHA will work collaboratively with the Associate Professor Vine to promote good mental health care in Australia. Private psychiatric hospitals provide important care to Australians, particularly in the most prevalent mental health disorders – anxiety and depression.

“Private hospitals have entered into agreements with the Federal and State/Territory Governments to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. As experts are predicting a considerable uptick in mental health stressors for Australians as a result of the pandemic, the services provided by private mental health facilities will be essential,” he said.

Mr Roff said Australians are now able to access a once-in-a-lifetime, immediate upgrade of their private health insurance to access private psychiatric hospital care. “We also have to recognise that a lot of people who need care now don’t have private health insurance – so public and private sectors, Commonwealth and States need to work together,” added Mr Roff.