The private hospital changes fail to provide the community-based services people need, Prof Ian Hickie says

The national mental health commissioner, Prof Ian Hickie, has described private health insurance reforms affecting mental health as a “work-around” that will lead to more mental health hospital beds without providing the community-based services people need.

On Thursday the health minister, Greg Hunt, announced a private health insurance overhaul, including changes to mental healthcare. From April people will be able to upgrade their coverage to cover mental health treatment when they need it without facing waiting periods, and basic private policies will include mental health cover as standard.

Related: Coalition woos young people in private health insurance overhaul

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".