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Mismanagement and mayhem in mental health

Jonathan Coleman National Party Associate Health Spokesman

27 April 2006

Mismanagement and mayhem in mental health

National's Associate Health spokesman, Dr Jonathan Coleman, is asking why DHBs are failing to spend all of their allocated funding for mental health services when the mental health sector is in so much trouble.

"The Mental Health Commission report 'The Acute Crisis', released today, paints a disturbing picture of acute mental health services that are not meeting the needs of the populations they serve.

"The Director of Mental Health accepts the report's criticism of acute mental health services, and identifies staff shortages and a lack of leadership as a problem in the sector."

Dr Coleman says the key question is why millions of dollars specifically ring-fenced for acute mental health services was not spent last year.

"It's not as if there is nothing that the money could be spent on. The only conclusion is that management of the sector is sub-standard. This is yet another example of failure within the health sector under the stewardship of the current Labour Government."

ENDS

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