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Mental Health crisis in Auckland

Labour 2000 web site

There is a looming crisis at Waitemata Health's mental health service following the failure of the Health Funding Authority to provide the expected funding for treating mental health patients, Labour health spokesperson Annette King said today.

"Waitemata Health has received three million dollars less than it expected for its mental health budget for the current financial year because the HFA has failed to move as promised to nationally consistent funding.

"Just a fortnight ago Wyatt Creech was crowing about advances in treatment and care for those with mental illnesses, when he opened new units at the Mason Clinic.

"Now the same service provider is in financial crisis. Mr Creech's words suddenly have a very hollow ring.

"Waitemata Health has to save $1.2 million, which can only be achieved through staff cuts and reductions in mental health services.

"Waitemata Health is currently looking at cutting respite care, the crisis service and acute in-patient care.

"The parents of Malcolm Beggs who was killed by a patient under the care of Waitemata Health are desperate to ensure there are adequate mental health services available. They have launched a petition calling on the Government to implement the Blueprint for Mental Health Services.

"But the latest funding crisis will see services reduced, not improved. It makes a mockery of the Government's claim to be expanding mental health services.

"There is only cynical election year puffery from National. Only a Labour-led Government will be genuinely committed to implementing the Blueprint," Annette King said.

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