Referrals to psychiatrists
Referrals can be made by any medical practitioner.
Note that a referral from a medical specialist is only valid for 3 months whereas a referral from a general practitioner (GP) is valid for one year unless otherwise specified.
A referral is essential if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate.
It is also possible to see a psychiatrist without a referral if you do not need to claim a Medicare rebate.
Referrals to psychologists and mental health social workers
It is not necessary to have a referral to a psychologist or a mental health social worker.
To claim a Medicare rebate you need a written referral letter from your psychiatrist or a mental health care plan referral from your GP.
The referral is valid for up to 6 sessions prior to review by the GP. After review if the GP decides that further treatment is required he or she might then write another referral for up to 4 more sessions. A maximum of 10 Medicare rebateable sessions is available each calendar year.