Minister speaks with forked tongue

Jonathan Coleman was economic with the truth when he told Cantabrians this morning their District Health Boards only has to ask for more money for services such as mental health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“He claimed on Christchurch radio that :‘if they need more specific resources, let’s work together to see what those are, but you know that’s my commitment’. This is just nonsense.

“The CDHB did ask the Government for money for mental health services in November 2014 and they were refused.

“The Ministry of Health said it did not consider there was justification to provide additional funding.

“The Minister continued to argue that there would be no specific funding cuts to Canterbury. However a very cut has been confirmed in a Cabinet paper on the Ministry’s website. 

“Just this week he argued, contrary to a newsletter from the CDHB chief executive David Meates, that Canterbury was not getting less than other DHBs for mental health services. 

“Jonathan Coleman has to stop trotting out the half-truths and face the facts that Canterbury is a special case after the earthquakes and needs more money for mental health,” says Annette King.