Better Access initiative

The Better Access initiative gives Medicare rebates to help people access mental health professionals and care, regardless of where they live. Find out how the initiative works, who is eligible and how you can access supports.

About the initiative

The Better Access initiative gives Medicare benefits to eligible people, so they can access the mental health services they need wherever they live in Australia.

Support is available from:

  • eligible general practitioners (GPs)
  • prescribed medical practitioners
  • psychiatrists
  • psychologists (clinical and registered)
  • eligible social workers and occupational therapists.

Medicare benefits are available for a maximum of 10 individual and 10 group allied mental health services each calendar year. Patients can access more if they wish but Medicare will not cover above this amount.

MBS telehealth services that were made available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are now permanent. 

This means that eligible Australians can access individual telehealth services, no matter their location, where it is safe and clinically appropriate to do so. 

Eligibility for telehealth services for group psychological therapy and focussed psychological strategies is based on  the Modified Monash Model (MMM 4-7) classifications. 

During the telehealth appointment, eligible patients must be: 

  • located in an MMM4-7 area
  • a minimum of 15 kilometres away by road from the allied mental health provider 

Learn more about the MMM model including information about MMM 4-7 areas. 

Learn more about the MMM 4-7 model, including areas, and a search tool to identify the classification of a specific location.

Information about other eligibility requirements for group therapy sessions are outlined in the Group Therapy Factsheet.

Regardless of whether telehealth mental health sessions are delivered as individual or group services, the same annual limits apply.

Learn more about the MMM model, including information about MMM 4-7 areas at :

Evaluation of the Better Access initiative – final report

This is the final report of an independent evaluation of the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule initiative (Better Access), undertaken by the University of Melbourne.

Find out more

Why it is important

Living with mental ill-health has a huge impact on people’s lives, and can be overwhelming. For people experiencing mental ill-health, getting the right support and treatment strategies early is critical.

Better Access helps cover the cost of this support, giving people easier access and more choice about what services they receive.

Goals of the initiative

Better Access aims to improve treatment and management of mental illnesses and encourage more people to seek support for their mental ill-health, wherever they live in Australia. 

It works to improve treatment and management for people who have mild to moderate mental health conditions. These are cases where short-term evidence-based interventions are most likely to be useful. 

Better Access Evaluation

An evaluation of Better Access was completed in December 2022. Future arrangements will be informed by the evaluation findings. The evaluation report is available online. 

Who can access Better Access rebates

MBS benefits are available to people with a diagnosed mental disorder. This includes many conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

The first step is to speak with your GP, or if relevant, your psychiatrist or paediatrician. The will decide if you are eligible for support under the Better Access initiative.

Who we work with

We fund and manage the Better Access initiative.

Services Australia processes benefits paid under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). 

Better Access education and training

Better Access funds education and training for health professionals. This helps to build their skills in working with people who live with mental ill-health.

It also helps them understand important aspects of effectively treating people, including:

  • understanding MBS item numbers
  • referrals and patient health care planning
  • how mental health professionals can work together.

To support medical professionals, we fund the:

Learn more


For more information on Better Access call Services Australia on:

  • 132 150 for providers
  • 132 011 for people seeking assistance.
Date last updated:

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