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Mental Health Timebombs Tick Away

Media Release

08 September 2003

Mental Health Timebombs Tick Away

New Zealand First mental health spokesperson Ron Mark is calling for the Government to stop making empty promises and act after North Shore Hospital was forced to close three beds for mental health patients.

“This is outrageous and a time bomb waiting to happen,” said Mr Mark.

“Staff have been warning the Government about bed shortages for mental health patients in Auckland for over 18 months so when is the Government going to listen - when someone else dies at the hands of a patient who, because of shortages, may not be considered a priority?

“The Government must accept that there is a place in our society for secure mental health institutions, that are well funded and can deal with all categories of patients.

“Institutions should not have to bear the burden of deciding if someone is in more critical need of help or of less risk to society. This can only lead to disaster.

“The Minister of Health needs to front up and make good the Government’s past promises of help,” said Mr Mark.


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