National’s Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey will ask the Health Select Committee to open an inquiry into the 15 new inpatient mental health facilities later this morning.
“Both the Government and the Opposition have agreed that the pace of building the new mental health facilities needs to increase and there is frustration from both sides in the length of time it’s taking to actually get a shovel in the ground.
“An inquiry would look at the status of the 15 mental health facilities announced since November 2017 and what the delays are for each of those facilities.
“It would also look into what role community based inpatient services can play to reduce demand for DHB inpatient facilities.
“Predominantly though, the inquiry would investigate how we can increase the pace of design, planning and building of mental health facilities, given the desperate need of them right now.
“Mental health is a priority for the National Party and we want to make sure Kiwis across the country are getting the support they need.
“Health Minister Andrew Little has so far made excuses and refused to take responsibility for his Government’s mental health programme instead wringing his hands as if he is a powerless bystander.
“The Government has an opportunity to show it takes the mental health crisis New Zealand is in seriously by supporting my inquiry.
“At the end of the day no one wants to see vulnerable Kiwis waiting long periods of time before they get the support they need, so I hope Labour agrees to this inquiry.”
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