Public Health Services
It's a pity that we have two separate health systems: public and private. The good thing about public services is that they are free. They are also well-equipped for acute and high-risk clients. Public mental health services are categorised based on age and suburbs. The age groups include child and adolescent, youth, adult, and aged persons. In addition, any given public service covers certain suburbs or so-called catchment areas. For example, public mental health services for youth in the Western suburbs include ORYGEN and Headspace. The public services are based partly in hospitals and partly in outpatient clinics. Please click Here to find the list of public mental health services in Victoria.
There are a few annoying things about public services. First of all, you can't choose your doctor or clinician; you just see the one allocated to you. Their doctors and staff often change. You may see a junior doctor or a trainee one day and find out next time that they have moved out and have been replaced with different staff. Moreover, public services most often tend to see you for a limited time and then discharge you to your local doctor. So there is no continuity of care as such.