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It's A Jungle Out There

It's A Jungle Out There

Thursday 26 Aug 2004
Heather Roy
Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today said she hoped that Canterbury District Health Board's pet zebra was living a fulfilled and happy life - but that the same could not be said of those suffering from mental illness living in Christchurch.

"Canterbury DHB's Mental Health Services Division has reportedly paid at least $5,000 over the past decade in adoption fees. While I have nothing against the zebra personally, this situation is of concern," Mrs Roy said.

"This comes as no surprise - for a long time now, it has been easier to access quality healthcare for our pets than for ourselves, our friends and families. I am also concerned about just how many of Canterbury's mentally ill people actually get to see this exotic pet.

"Are these people expected to pay Orana Park's admission fee? I doubt anyone arriving at the front gates claiming to be mentally ill and asking to see the zebra will be given free entry.

"The Mental health Commission recently released figures showing that, despite Labour pouring an extra $321 million into mental health, only half of those suffering from mental illness are receiving treatment. It would be interesting to know how many other DHBs are paying to adopt and keep such pets - perhaps this is where all the extra funding has gone.

"This all comes back to the zebra itself, of course, and I am sure that it is being kept comfortable and healthy. Canterbury DHB has been named a platinum sponsor of the zebra. The zebra is receiving platinum care - when will Health Minister Annette King begin offering platinum care to the mentally ill?" Mrs Roy said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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