Why is it so hard to find cost-free psychology?
The Medicare rebate amount (which previously enabled psychologists to bulk-bill their clients) has increased by less than 10% over the past decade (for comparison, cumulative average inflation in Australia for the same period is approximately 30%). Given this, blanket cost-free providers have been unable to meet their ongoing cost of business. Unfortunately, the result has been a considerable majority of psychologists charging higher amounts for services.

Here at Think Do Now, we care about the reality that many clients are experiencing economic challenges – and we believe we should do what we can to ensure financial difficulties are not barriers to engaging helpful therapy. As a temporary remedy, we have developed our Robin Hood model of service provision, where we attempt to charge large government bodies and corporate clients at the highest gazetted rates, so that we can provide cost-free counselling to individuals. Increasingly, we are hearing the mantra “it’s just business” even within allied health service circles. It is our sincere belief that this sentiment does not belong within the community of healthcare, and we continue to advocate for easy-access provision of cost-free treatment to all who would benefit.

If you’re a client in need who has been unable to find cost-free services, please call and we will do what we can to accommodate your booking. Regrettably, there is increasing need in the community – if we are at capacity, we can help you find referral options*.

If you’re a psychologist with aligned values, contact us to collaborate, or to become part of our referral network.

The Robin Hood model of service provision is simply a workaround in recognition that providing blanket cost-free psychology to individuals (under the current legislative and economic conditions) is not a sustainable business practice. Although the bulk-billing arm of Think Do Now operates (via the Better Access scheme) at a loss, revenue from other business arms (such as insurance work) can negate these losses and allow for zero out-of-pocket expense to be passed onto the individual. The downside of the model is that, at times, attention needs to be given to ensure adequate work funded by large government bodies or corporate clients is available. The upside of the model is that individuals in financial difficulty (who can be at risk by avoiding therapy that would otherwise be beneficial) might have an avenue to access services.

The Robin Hood model is, therefore, necessarily one that takes funds from where there is plenty and distributes them to where there is less. By prioritising the needs of individuals through improving access to cost-free therapy, we aim to assist others, and in so doing, improve the quality of the community as a whole.

*Referrals to third party services may not be cost-free.