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Labour fails to meet mental health patients’ needs


Labour fails to meet mental health patients’ needs

The Government must act and put more money into mental health services in Auckland where patients have had to stay in police cells because there’s no other accommodation for them, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

“The Mental Health Commission’s report, due to be released, is likely to say that Auckland mental health services get 20 percent less funding than Wellington and the South Island is alarming. It is clear that Auckland is desperate for more inpatient beds.

“This report should not become just another dust collector. Health Minister Annette King must heed its recommendations because they show how dire mental health services have become in Auckland.

“I predict that the findings will be similar to that of the 1998 Blueprint for Mental Health Services in New Zealand. The Blue Print was a National initiative, which outlined the need for priority patients to get access to treatment, adequate response times and the need for regional specialist services.


“Labour promised in its 1999 manifesto to implement the Blue Print. It has not done so either nationally or regionally and now areas like Auckland are desperate for improved services.


“The Minister has ignored calls from the mental health sector, the community and the Opposition to address the mental health crisis, where we repeatedly see ill patients discharged into the community too early and with no support.


“The Minister must stop treating mental health like a Cinderella service,” Dr Scott said.


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