From today there is a new Medicare funded treatment which gives hope to people who are living with depressive disorders who have tried other treatments and found they haven’t been successful.
The new treatment is non-invasive, non-surgical, and does not not require medication.
It sounds Hitech and it is. It is called repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or rTMS for short.
From today rTMS treatment has been added to the Medicare items list which means this state of the art treatment can now be accessed by patients without needing to admit to a hospital.
The Board Chair of The Toowoomba Clinic, Graham Higgins says “we have been offering this treatment to patients at our hospital for over 12 months with good outcomes and we have increased our capacity to extend rTMS treatment to members of the public who meet the eligibility requirements for Medicare funding”.
“If you haven’t responded well to 2 different courses of anti-depressant medication you will need to ask your GP to refer you to us to assess your eligibility and treatment options.
Mitch Lax is Cordinating the rTMS treatment program at The Toowoomba Clinic.
Mitch said he personally found the rTMS treatment had changed his life and he is excited to be sharing the technology with the assistance of the doctors and staff at The Toowoomba Clinic for the benefit of so many other people in the community.
Mr Higgins said he commended the Federal Government for recognising the huge need to improve access to and affordability of rTMS treatment for Australians who are living with depressive disorders.
“If patients are eligible for Medicare funded rTMS treatment then the government will contribute the bulk of the cost for up to 50 treatments. This gives hope to so many people by making this revolutionary treatment so much more affordable.
We still have a massive mental health issue in our region with the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN region having one of the worst suicide mortality rates in Australia1.
Access is a big part of the problem with a chronic shortage of psychiatrists in Toowoomba and we are grateful the Federal Government has recognised the problem and is now working with us to allow us to recruit more psychiatrists for our region.
rTMS Cordinator, The Toowoomba Clinic
1 https://www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring/data/geography/suicide-by-phn-areas Darling Downs and West Moreton Region