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Headspace doctors thin on the ground
HEADSPACE is seeking to urgently boost its GP numbers after it unveiled another 15 centre locations nationwide, taking the ratio to less than one full-time-equivalent (FTE) GP for every five of its centres.
Acting headspace CEO Liz Burgat said with less than 10 FTE GPs across what will be 55 centres “[GP staffing] challenges shouldn’t be underestimated” but the youth mental health initiative hoped to have an “ideal” workforce mix by 2013.
“Headspace is currently working on developing creative strategies to attract more GPs to [our] centres,” Ms Burgat told MO.
“We are looking at how we can make headspace an attractive place to work, and we’re keen to collaborate with GPs as to how we can do this.”
The push comes after headspace told the mental health Senate inquiry it expected to struggle for GP numbers after the Better Access mental health MBS items were slashed from this week.
A spokesperson for the department of health said headspace had 8.6 full-time-equivalent GPs but that “does not represent the full extent of hours of GP services” as centres without in-house GPs had effective referral pathways in place.