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Labour Blocks Inquiry Into Sanitised Mental Health Report

Today the Labour Government blocked an inquiry into the Mental Health and Addiction Services annual report calling into question once again its openness and transparency, National’s Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey says.

New Zealanders deserve to have confidence in the Ministry of Health, so today Mr Doocey called for an inquiry into the Mental Health and Addiction Services Annual Report.

The inquiry would’ve investigated the reasons why the report was published late, why data sets weren’t published in the usual format, whether there had been any impropriety by the public sector in preparing the report, and it would’ve recommended which data sets the report should publish.

“The previous National Government was upfront with New Zealanders about our mental health sector, we monitored key statistics and published data so the public could hold us accountable.

“Labour has taken a different route and the results speak for themselves.

“Under Labour child and adolescent waiting times have ballooned out, meaning children are spending longer in a queue to see clinicians and get the help they need.

“Despite making several announcements about its investment in mental health, the Government has severely underspent on its promises and in some cases hasn’t spent a single dollar on announced projects.

“This may explain why the Government attempted to hide ‘negative’ statistics and bully advocate groups like the Mental Health Foundation.

“National takes mental health very seriously and as a party we cannot understand why the Government is taking such a casual approach to improving health outcomes. It’s disappointing the Government once again refuses to be held accountable and has blocked this important inquiry.”

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