Call for GP health checks for mentally ill

THE government has been called on to introduce a Medicare Benefits Scheme item number as a way of getting more GPs to conduct health checks on people with a mental illness.The call comes after the latest SANE Australia data found that 90 per cent of the mentally ill also had a chronic physical condition such as diabetes, heart disease or circulatory problems.

SANE Australia chief executive Barbara Hocking said people were falling "through the gaps" because of missed opportunities to prevent or pick up signs of chronic illnesses in the mentally ill population.

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