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Mental Health Utopia Complete By 2016

Mental Health Utopia Complete By 2016

Heather Roy Wednesday,

13 September 2006

Press Releases - Health

ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy has today released a leaked report from Central Region's 'Technical Advisory Services', which envisages Kiwi mental health patients being treated by telephone and a slashing of residential beds.

"People with mental illness need care, protection and treatment, not long-distance treatment and abandonment", Mrs Roy said.

"The report predicts that in 2016 'the approach to residential services will be substantially different. There will be few residential beds'.

"Pushing more patients out of hospital and residential care, onto the streets, doesn't help them, their families or society.

"Community treatment fails many people with mental illness, and often those people end up sleeping rough, committing crime and causing harm to themselves or others.

"If this sort of planning is the way of the future, we can only expect more mental health tragedies.

"The report also envisages 'an increased uptake and dissemination of web-based medicine, telepsychiatry and telephone based support'.

"Is it now the Labour Party's plan for Kiwis to have their health needs met by telephone psychics, Indian call centres, radiologists in Lebanon and the internet?

"Health Minister Pete Hodgson should come clean and admit that the Ministry is behind plans to slash residential beds and abandon vulnerable, mentally ill people to the mercy of the streets", Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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