New Zealand Labour Party

Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures

The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“Jonathan Coleman crowed in a press release last week that in 2015 “around 44,500 young people (aged 19 years and under) sought help. Seventy per cent were seen within three weeks, and 91 per cent were seen within eight weeks.”

“The truth is only 10,919 clients were seen within that three week period. The Minister intentionally confused existing clients with new people requiring mental health services.

“The Minister is trying to hide the growing crisis in mental health services.

This Government has pushed mental health services to breaking point by cutting $1.7 billion out of the health budget. Even their recent funding announcement for Canterbury has been revealed by the district health board that it will not be enough to meet the current demand for mental health services for Canterbury.

This shows a Government increasingly out of touch and desperate to hide the growing problems with mental health services, says Annette King.