New Zealand Labour Party

Minister must come clean on underfunding of Canterbury mental health services

Jonathan Coleman cannot go on claiming that Canterbury is not below the New Zealand average when it comes to funding mental health services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“It’s clear that the Canterbury DHB received $222 per head in 2015/16, lower than the national average of $243 per head.

“Chief Executive David Meates told the Health Select Committee last week that they were under ‘unprecedented pressure’ from the Canterbury earthquakes and that was before Sunday’s 5.7 shake.

“This pressure will now increase with a further cut of $10 per head for mental health services in the coming year.

“The Minister has to listen to the people of Canterbury. He cannot go on claiming that the $16 million dollars he gave Canterbury last year could have been spent on mental health.

“That money, according to the CHDB, was already set aside to offset a budget deficit .

“Canterbury needs more funding. The problems of chronic underfunding are impacting on everyone from Canterbury’s women to the five year olds who are turning up to school with developmental issues, says Annette King.