Data shows despite Govt’s $1.9b mental health budget no improvement in total beds for patients


The mental health sector is still falling short of providing more acute mental health beds. Photo / File

There are the same number of total beds for acute mental health patients as there were in 2017, despite nearly $2 billion being allocated for the mental health sector, new data has revealed today.

Currently, there are 608 beds available for acute mental health patients.

Newshub reported tonight this number fluctuated briefly in 2021 reaching a peak of 619, but has since declined back to 608 – the 2017 level.

In Budget 2019 the Government announced $1.9b for mental health, with $235 million set aside for building mental health and addiction facilities.

This came after it was revealed acute mental health units were running at capacity.

Health Minister Andrew Little told Newshub it was “taking way longer than it should do, but there is progress now evident”.

“The funding was available from 2019, the commitment was available from that time. It still beggars belief for me that it has taken this long to get those things going,” Little said.

Health Minister Andrew Little told Newshub it’s “taking way longer than it should do, but there is progress now evident”. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Health Minister Andrew Little told Newshub it’s “taking way longer than it should do, but there is progress now evident”. Photo / Mark Mitchell

New documents also obtained by Newshub show the Health Minister ordered a “deep dive” into why mental health infrastructure isn’t being delivered.

This involved the projects implementation section being instructed to collaborate with the Infrastructure Commission and “conduct a deep dive” into each of the 16 Mental Health Infrastructure Programme projects in order to develop a delivery strategy that “ensures initiatives gather momentum and get going,” Newshub reported.

National’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention spokesperson Matt Doocey said serious questions need to be answered.

“Where has this money gone, why hasn’t it made any difference and why has there been no investment in bed numbers?” Doocey asked.

“This Labour Government constantly confuses spending money with outcomes. If money was the answer to solving the many issues facing the sector, then Kiwis would have timely access to services, and better facilities, and see an overall improvement in the country’s mental wellbeing.”

National Party leader Christopher Luxon told Newshub it was “quite astonishing” such a large sum of taxpayers’ money had been allocated yet without a single extra bed available today.

“You’ve gotta ask the questions, where has the money gone?”



https://limbcoastlineimpetuous.com/a1yy03j3m1?key=4d0dba9b33fa4e33a9c114018abfd844

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this:

Adblock Detected

Please Disable Your Ads blocker to Continue Browsing