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Shortage Of Mental Health Workers No Excuse

May 3, 2001

While there are problems based around the recruitment and retention of mental health workers, the staff shortage is only one reason for the current crisis in Auckland’s mental health, and is no excuse for inaction, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“The Minister of Health is correct when she refers to a shortage of health workers in the mental health area. We would not, however, want to see emphasis placed on that issue at the expense of other serious problems facing our members such as lack of beds and appropriate facilities.”

“Our members are calling for funds to be usefully employed to solve these problems urgently. They would like to reiterate their call for the immediate introduction of pre-acute assessment facilities and a step-down sub-acute facility in the Auckland region.”

Richard Wagstaff said an urgent interim solution to the crisis was essential to ease the demands on mental health workers which had led to them taking action.

“The PSA is calling on the Ministry of Health and the Auckland district health boards to meet with us to find a short-term solution. If the ministry and the DHBs are prepared to show a commitment, we are confident of a positive outcome.”


[ends]

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