Journal article

How long and how much? Wait times and costs for initial private child mental health appointments

Melissa Mulraney, Cindy Lee, Gary Freed, Michael Sawyer, David Coghill, Emma Sciberras, Daryl Efron, Harriet Hiscock



AIM: To determine: (i) wait times and out-of-pocket costs for children attending private specialists for initial mental health appointments; and (ii) whether these differed between specialists working in metropolitan versus rural areas and in low, medium and high socio-economic areas. METHODS: Prospective secret shopper study whereby a researcher posed as a parent seeking an appointment for her child with anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. We contacted 317 private paediatrician, psychiatrist and psychologist practices in Victoria and South Australia between 12 March and 5 May 2019. RESULTS: One third (29.8%) of private practices were closed to new referrals. The average wai..

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Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship

Awarded by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This project was funded by a Project Grant from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (1129957). MCRI is supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. Prof Harriet Hiscock is supported by an NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship 1136222. Dr Sciberras is funded by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship 1110688 (2016-2019) and a Veski Inspiring Women's Fellowship (2017-2019). Dr Efron is funded by a Clinician Scientist Fellowship from MCRI.