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

 


DSC demands review of deinstitutionalisation policy

DSC demands review of deinstitutionalisation policy


Continuing mental health-related tragedies on the West Coast yet again highlight the tragic consequences of the mass closure of New Zealand's safe residential facilities for those at risk, according to DSC health spokesman, David Tranter.

When the misleadingly-named "deinstitutionalisation" agenda was being obsessively enforced by administrators whose careers depend on kowtowing to politically-driven agendas which many of them knew to be seriously flawed, it was claimed that the changes were supported by "world-wide"evidence.

When I extracted this evidence after repeated requests to the then Director-General of Health, Karen Poutasi, it consisted of a small number of reports which all focused on the same handful of mental health facilities. One of these reports even came from a company whose expertise is in financial and related fields - again illustrating the fact that one can get anything "proved" if one is prepared to pay for it, Mr. Tranter said.

As for "deinstitutionalisation", the tiny, high-fenced exercise yard at Grey Hospital's mental health unit compares disgracefully with Seaview Psychiatric Hospital's (Hokitika) spacious and peaceful grounds.

It was alleged that "care in the community" would enable people to leave "institutions" and move into the community where appropriate as though this was not already happening - which it certainly was. Further, expert care was promised whereas the reality - as in Greymouth - was that totally untrained people were often appointed as caregivers.

Another deceitful tactic employed in the South Island was a video of happy community house residents which was shown to local councils including the Westland District Council to get their backing for the Seaview closure. The Seaview Hospital Action group which opposed the closure and which I was a member of later discovered that the video was of a very low-dependency Dunedin group and was not typical of the people ejected from safe havens into often risky situations, Mr. Tranter said. Most alarming of all were the Seaview [Psychiatric Hospital words omitted] patient files I saw which showed sudden, unexplained writing down of serious problems and required care levels for patients who were subsequently ejected into inappropriate situations.

This all goes to explain New Zealand's "hideously restricted suicide reporting laws" as described by former Seaview nurse Peter Neame in a recent letter to the Greymouth Star as successive governments and their bureaucratic minions attempt to cover up the tragic consequences of mental health policy.

Mr. Neame, who held senior positions in the Queensland mental health system after leaving the Coast, knows more about mental health issues than the hordes of bureaucrats including DHB ceo David Meates whose recent assurance, "they were using the latest thinking", illustrates the shallow response of DHB management when tragic mental health-related events come to their attention.

It is time for an open and honest review of the effects of closing the safe havens which once served mental health patients so well, Mr. Tranter concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics.

Can the two surviving Maori Party MPs (one electorate, one list) credibly work together with the old firebrand who split up the group years ago, and still hope to rekindle some of that same old magic? More>>

 

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news