Better access growing pains.

The provision of psychological services for mental health disorders under the Australian universal health scheme, Medicare, provides access to mental health treatment for the Australian population and has drawn considerable attention and commentary both in Australia and internationally. The initiative, known as Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners has had broad uptake and has demonstrated positive outcomes including reducing levels of psychological distress and providing treatment to population groups that would not have otherwise been in a position to access psychological services. Along with the many benefits provided by the initiative, there have also been some challenges. This article raises some of the key challenges that have emerged out of the initiative, some of which have resulted in unforeseen consequences, for the community, but particularly for the psychology profession. Many of these challenges remain and it is hoped that in identifying and discussing these there may be impetus for change in the future, as part of the Australian initiative, and also as part of similar models being considered in other countries. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)