More help for those with eating disorders

Eating disorders (ED) are now the first mental health disorder to be assigned specific item numbers.

This comes under the new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) scheme from the beginning of November.

ED experts have urgently called the Australian health workforce to increase the management of these complex illnesses.

Additionally, the announcement coincides with World Mental Health Day (October 10). As well as an article published in MJA Insight. This marks an important milestone for the one million Australians living with an ED.

Out with the old…

Prior to the upcoming revision of the MBS, patients living with EDs, as well as other mental health disorders had limited access to medical staff. Access to only 10 rebated psychological sessions through Medicare were granted previously.

“While EDs have one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illness… more than 70 per cent of people living with EDs do not receive treatment. Of those who do, only 20 per cent receive evidence-based treatment,” said author and Director of InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders (IOI) Dr Sarah Maguire.

… in with the new

Those with an ED diagnosis will gain access to:

  • 40 rebated psychological therapy sessions
  • 20 dietetic sessions
  • a medical practitioner.

Under the new scheme, a diagnosis by a general practitioner and mental health practitioner will be required.

To register for a IOI ED training module, join IOI’s treatment services database, or to learn more about EDs, visit: