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$3m cut revealed in Waitemata Mental Health

PSA Media Release Friday, 29 October

$3m cut revealed in Waitemata Mental Health Services

Waitemata Health today revealed a $3 million drop in its planned budget because of a reduction in the expected funding from the Health Funding Authority.

PSA national health manager, Richard Wagstaff, said the news of reduced funding given to staff was ‘damaging in the extreme and will impact on areas of operation which are already critical and cash-strapped.

‘This is bad news and will mean serious problems for acute in-patient services, crisis teams and respite services – the frontline stuff,’ he said.

The Waitemata Mental Health Service Group is now forecasting a financial deficit of at least $1.2 million for the 1999/2000 year.

Information to staff said ‘it is now urgent that the Mental Health Service Group identify how we can deliver safe quality services, meet all contractual commitments … and manage expenditure.’

‘Staff in mental health are already working under constant pressure and constraints and this can only lead to further demands and affect the quality of service these people, and Waitemata, can deliver,’ Mr Wagstaff said.

“Mental health funding is a critical issue for the welfare of this country and once again there seems to be no understanding from the authorities about the necessity of certainty in funding and the crisis situation managers, staff and patients are working in,’ he said.

For more comment please call Richard Wagstaff on 025 277 8131


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