The Minister of Health today admitted that the country’s District Health Boards were having to spend more than their ring fenced expenditure on Mental Health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.
“The situation is serious with Capital and Coast DHB having to spend $251 per person on mental health when they are only funded to the tune of $213 a head.
“Jonathan Coleman has to realise that this underfunding has inevitably led to temporary bed closures at Waitemata’s mental health unit and at Capital and Coast’s unit.
“It is completely unacceptable that last year there were 60 times when staff at Capital and Coast worked more than 60 hours a week. It’s equally unacceptable that staff at Te Whare o Matairangi, Wellington Hospital’s acute mental health unit are working back to back shifts.
“The Minister has to reassure New Zealand that funding cuts aren’t endangering the safety of staff and patients.
“It’s worrying that Capital and Coast has had no increase in full time staff in the past three years and yet they are dealing with a 10 per cent rise in bed nights in the mental health units.
“The answer is simple, the Government has to start filling the $1.7 billion funding hole and give Kiwis a Health system they can once again be proud of,” says David Clark.