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Annette King, Minister Of Lip Service

Annette King, Minister Of Lip Service

Health Minister Annette King is guilty of hypocrisy in mental health - she promises much, delivers little and leaves others to be blamed for tragedies resulting from her flawed mental health policies, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"What ever happened to the Annette King who railed against the National Government's health system, and promised that Labour would do better?" Mrs Roy demanded.

"In a 1998 press release, then opposition health spokesman Ms King railed against the mental health system's:

`cycle of tragedy - followed by investigations - then recommendations which appear to make no difference - then frustration - followed by rounds of people blaming each other - and finally another tragedy to kick-start it all off again'.

"In her opinion, this was:

`no way to run a health system. The Minister must make good his statement that mental health is a priority.'

"Ms King claimed that Labour was committed to improving mental health services. But all we've seen is tragedy, investigations, impotent recommendations, frustration, passing the buck, and more tragedy. The promise of improvement, it would seem, was an empty one.

"Ms King's empty promises are damaging people's lives, and those of the families of the mentally unwell. She was quite prepared to appeal to these people when she wanted their votes but, once elected, has delivered nothing.

"Under her watch, mental health has remained the poor cousin of the health system. New Zealand has fragmented mental health services that allow far too many patients to fall through the cracks. The Minister is failing the truly vulnerable.

"New Zealanders have had enough of lip service. It is time for solutions. If the Minister is not prepared to show some integrity and actually do something, then it is time she stepped aside for someone who is," Mrs Roy said.

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