Pregnant women will soon have access to free mental health assessments during and after pregnancy.
The decision is in response to recommendations made by a taskforce examining thousands of Medicare-funded services.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Michael Gannon said early intervention was key to treating postnatal depression.
“Healthy mothers who are functioning well are more likely to take good care of their babies,” he said.
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From November, pregnant women will receive free mental health assessments during their pregnancy and within two months of giving birth, reports ABC.
That was one of dozens of recommendations made by a taskforce set up to examine the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
Dr Gannon said it was a welcome investment that ensured obstetricians performed screening tests for postnatal depression during the antenatal period.
“To identify women who might already be depressed, but at the very least identify that group of women who are at increased risk of postnatal depression, and invest wherever possible in preventing it happening,” he said.
For support please call:
Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) — 1300 726 306
Lifeline — 131 114
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