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."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election