Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Another Triumph of Ideology over Common Sense

Release Richmond Fellowship

The head of a major mental health provider says mental health services are extremely vulnerable from constant changes in health purchasing structure.

Speaking at the National Health Care Summit, Dr Gerry Walmisley of the Richmond Fellowship said health care providers had seen eight different funding structures since 1985 and the whole sector was now punch-drunk with change. The Government proposes to reverse the funder-provider split and form up to 22 District Health Boards, each with a hospital committee and a primary health committee. The Minister of Health, Annette King, has already acknowledged that some services, such as mental health, could become sidelined.

"The HFA had its faults and I used to be one of its harshest critics. But in recent years, as the HFA developed expertise in purchasing, it accumulated a detailed knowledge of mental health and encouraged many new and innovative services. Mental health strategies were being developed at a nationa l level, and that developed into a world-leading approach to community mental health care.

"As a result, the non-government sector in New Zealand now receives about 30% of the mental health budget, compared with only 2.2% in Australia. The work of the HFA has contributed to great progress being made in community-based mental health services, but now there’s a real danger that expertis e will be lost."

"The new model will tend to favour hospital services and unless there are proper guidelines to protect mental health funding there is a strong possibility that these services will once again become health care’s poor cousin. While there are many hospital managers who support the role of the non-g overnment sector, it is inevitable there will be some who will actively discourage NGOs from being able to provide high level services."



Dr Walmisley said the constant reforms from successive governments were a triumph of ideology over common sense. Health services, and particularly mental health services, needed to be planned and implemented in an apolitical way.

He said the Minister must encourage a clear definition of mental health funding and ensure that gains and expertise developed by non-government providers is maintained. "It is to be hoped," says Dr Walmisley, "that whatever system we see implemented will not diminish the real gains of the past in order to serve a political agenda. Changes in the health system must deliver real benefits to people and not be used as a mechanism to assert a different political poin t of view."

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>

 
 

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels