New Zealand Labour Party

Underfunding set to continue for Christchurch mental health

New mental health funding for Canterbury is welcome but the amount is not enough to make a real difference for Cantabrians struggling with stress and anxiety following the earthquakes, Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark says.

“The funding announced today will still not bring Canterbury’s mental health funding in line with the national average. This will leave mental health funding for Canterbury at $31 per person below the national average, meaning a shortfall of $16 million.

“The reality is that due to National’s previous cuts, even with today’s announcements, mental health funding will still be lower in Canterbury in the next financial year.

“Canterbury shouldn’t be scraping just to get the funding other areas get. There were always going to be enormous mental health pressures in Canterbury after the earthquakes, but National has insisted on blundering along with a business as usual approach.

“Giving Cantabrians less funding for mental health than others shows how out of touch National is with the reality of what people are experiencing in the city.

“Health professionals, police and especially teachers of young children are telling us there is enormous unmet need. The Government isn’t listening.

“This is a Government that has cut $1.7 billion out of our health budget. This is just the latest sign that National can’t be trusted to run our health system,” says Dr David Clark.