In 2017, an application was drafted to the Australian Government Department of Health to propose that EMDR Therapy be listed as an additional, individual Focused Psychological Strategy under the Medicare Better Access to Mental Healthcare Scheme. Much time and care went into describing the detailed information required by the department, in order for them to determine whether a proposed medical service is suitable or appropriate for addition. Dr Chris Lee’s research assistant, Sarah Dominguez, did a very comprehensive and thorough job of attaching a summary of research evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of EMDR therapy.
In February 2019, the Australian Government released their long-awaited reports into psychological services under Medicare from the Mental Health Reference Group, Allied Health Reference Group and the Pain Management Clinical Committee. These were commissioned as part of the MBS Review. The mental health report makes a number of recommendations, including the addition of 14 more evidence-based therapies under Better Access, including EMDR. This is currently only an initial recommendation. It might be a long road in the end, but this is definitely a worthwhile goal; to give EMDR the recognition it deserves and increase clients’ accessibility to this treatment under Medicare.