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Federal Covid plan: some free PCR tests to require referral and number of mental health sessions cut by half

AMA concerned by ‘significant disincentives’ to virus testing and psychologist body ‘bitterly disappointed’

Some free Covid PCR tests will require referrals and Medicare-supported psychologist sessions will be reduced by the federal government under changes to Covid management that suicide prevention groups have called “baffling”.

The national Covid-19 health management plan for 2023, released on Monday, outlines federal government plans for handling the pandemic next year. The health minister, Mark Butler, said Labor was investing $2.8bn to manage the virus, with measures including vaccine procurement, public information campaigns, hospital funding and plans for aged care and multicultural communities.

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