Budget 2024: Disappointment Over Broken Promise To Fund More Mental Health Specialists

Published: Mon 3 Jun 2024 02:40 PM
Psychiatrists are disappointed the National-led Government has not honoured its pre-election promise to allocate money in the Budget for training more mental health specialists.
Prior to coming to power, the National Party committed to funding 13 additional psychiatry registrar places.
The New Zealand chair of the Royal Australia New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Dr Hiran Thabrew, said its members were questioning "when and how those places will be funded".
Despite Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey having previously acknowledged growing workforce vacancies and skyrocketing rates of mental distress across New Zealand, "his words had not been backed by action in the Coalition government's first budget", he said.
"Every day, people experiencing serious mental health or addiction issues are falling through the cracks.
"From an economic perspective, it's short-sighted. When mental health care is delayed, or absent, it increases the chances of a condition getting worse, becoming harder to treat, and taking longer to recover.
"It creates a cycle of crisis-driven care that ultimately costs more over time."
Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey told RNZ the government remained committed to growing the mental health and addiction workforce, "including the stated focus on psychiatrists and psychologists".
"Earlier this year I tasked Health New Zealand with developing a Mental Health and Addiction workforce plan including this focus, and this work is underway.
"We will be able to share more information about this in due course."
The Budget includes:$9.72 million for a national Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fund$8.5 million pledged over four years to increase medical school funding cap$1.09 billion pledged from 2024-28 to Whaikaha - Ministry of Disability for disability support services.
New Zealand's public broadcaster, providing comprehensive NZ news and current affairs, specialist audio features and documentaries.
Radio New Zealand is a Crown entity established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. Radio New Zealand News are vital elements in our programming, providing impartial news and information to New Zealanders every day. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) provides listeners with exciting and independent radio programmes in accordance with the Radio New Zealand Charter.

Next in Lifestyle

End Of An Era, Michelle Preston Hangs Up The Gloves For The Last Time
By: Benjamin Watt
Worker Shortage A Key Cause Of Disability Support Complaints
By: NZ Disability Support Network
Galactic Archaeology In Aotearoa’s Night Sky
By: University of Canterbury
Pharmac Proposes To Widen Access To Urinary Tract Infection Treatment And Fund A New Epilepsy Treatment
Wanted – 10 Young New Zealanders Who Want To Visit China!
By: NZ Chinese Language Week
Early Childhood Teachers’ Union Calls For Stop To Sector Regulatory Review
By: NZEI Te Riu Roa
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media