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Lack of mental health services alarming

Dr Paul Hutchison

National Associate Health Spokesman

12 May 2004

Lack of mental health services for children alarming

It is an indictment on the Labour Government that a key finding of this week's Mental Health Commission Report shows 'inpatient beds for children and young people is only at 60% of recommended levels, says National's Associate Health spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison.

The minister agreed in Parliament today that this situation is unacceptable, but she offered no defence as to why Labour has failed to improve the psychiatric bed situation for children.

Dr Hutchison says to make matters worse, the report shows mental health services have decreased by more than 5%, despite a substantial increase in funding.

"This demonstrates that the extremely bureaucratic and inefficient health system Labour has imposed is cutting services to some of our most vulnerable children - the mentally ill".

Ends

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