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Parliament Misinformed On Mental Health Cuts

25 July 2003

Parliament Misinformed On Mental Health Cuts

“The Minister of Health has misinformed Parliament about our Union’s stance on the contracting out of parts of the Canterbury mental health service,” said Nadine Marshall, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. She was commenting on Annette King’s (the Minister of Health) answer to a question from MP Sue Bradford yesterday where she stated:

“The initial consultation was inadequate, but it led to NUPE, the union and the Canterbury District Health Board have put together a joint implementation team to ensure that the transition arrangements are put in place for the patients moving into the community. That is now happening, and includes monitoring arrangements.” From Transcript (attached).

“The Minister states she is speaking on information provided by the CDHB,” said Nadine Marshall. “The fact that NUPE announced a plan of action to get the decision u-turned earlier in the week seems to have been missed by the Board. Our first protest is outside CDHB HQ at 12.30 today.”

“Our Union is also unhappy with other aspects of the Minister’s reply for instance where she acknowledged that the Canterbury police have not been alerted to prepare cells for mental health patients in preparation for the changes though this was an outcome in Waitemata Health’s case,” said Nadine Marshall.

“Similarly her statement that the CDHB’s advice is that managers are not getting bonuses defies belief and will anger staff affected by the cuts even more. “

“The Board is being at best very economical with the truth and has put the Minister in the position of misinforming the House”, said Nadine Marshall.

ENDS

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