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Mental Health Needs Action, Not Another Minister

“The ACT Party would take real action to solve our mental crisis with a world-class commissioning agency that assesses individual needs and contracts the best providers for a person’s therapy and care. It would put people at the heart of the system,” say ACT Leader David Seymour and Health Spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The Greens think another Minister is the answer. But another politician taking a pay rise and the baubles office, and more bureaucracy is not how you achieve outcomes,” says Mr Seymour

“Our solution to reforming mental health is to create a new entity called Mental Health and Addiction New Zealand (MHANZ).

"The Government has established a Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, but it does not have real power to improve choice or establish a clear, nationwide approach to tackling mental health and addiction.”

"ACT would give the Commission the power to transform mental health and addiction services by taking the $2 billion per year currently spent through the Ministry of Health and DHBs and channelling it to providers and patients through an upgraded Commission. The Commission would be renamed Mental Health and Addiction New Zealand (MHANZ),” says Ms van Velden.

"MHANZ would not be a provider of services, but a world-class commissioning agency that assesses individual needs and contracts the best providers for a person’s therapy and care. It would put people at the heart of the system.

"MHANZ would develop expertise in evaluating where the money is going and what services work based on evidence and data. It would issue clear and certain contracts to service providers while evaluating the outcomes and quality of care.

"Any provider that meets strict criteria would be able to register with MHANZ to provide treatment and care. Funding for services would be determined by and attached to the care of individuals and their needs. MHANZ would carefully monitor providers to ensure New Zealanders are receiving high quality care.

"Patients would be able to choose any registered provider for their immediate care, providing greater autonomy, or would be referred to a specific provider in cases where a person lacks the capacity to do so or requires specialised treatment.

“ACT understands that mental health is an issue that can no longer be ignored. Our candidates understand the struggles that New Zealanders are facing. Our system doesn’t need tinkering, it needs a major overhaul and ACT has the solution.”

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