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10-yr mental health plan just call for more plans

Dr Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Associate Health Spokesman

2 August 2006


10-year mental health plan just a call for more plans

Labour’s 10-year ‘action plan’ for mental health, Te Kokiri, is just more talk and bureaucracy, says National Party Associate Health spokesman Dr Jonathan Coleman.

“This plan is 80 pages of padding and waffle, with a lack of emphasis on real outcomes in terms of measurable improvements in mental health,” says Dr Coleman.

“While National supports stronger linkages between primary care and specialist mental health services, this document offers no real detail about how they will be achieved.

“What’s more, there is nothing to tell us how the Government plans to address the shortage of New Zealand-trained psychiatrists, or the critical lack of psychologists in acute mental health wards.

“This is a plan for yet more plans and will not make any difference to the mental health of New Zealanders. No wonder Pete Hodgson sneaked it out after 6pm last night.

“National would free up the $18 million of ring-fenced money that DHBs underspent on acute mental health services last year, and allow DHBs to direct it towards areas of the mental health sector that desperately need it.”

ENDS

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