General News Politics — 04 September 2012

The Victorian Opposition says one in three mentally ill patients wait more than eight hours in emergency departments before being admitted into care.

Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Wade Noonan, says documents obtained under Freedom of Information reveal the state’s health service is struggling to cope with demand for mental health care.

He says the State Government must immediately reinstate the funding it cut from the health sector.

“Those figures are getting worse, not better under the Baillieu Government, which is also an indicator about how the entire mental health service system is actually working,” he said.

“For people to admit themselves to hospital suggests that other areas of mental health services are in fact failing.

“The Baillieu Government should reverse their half-a-billion dollar cuts to the Victorian health system. The sooner that’s done the better.”

He says the Government fought his request for the documents for five months.

The State Government says mental health service waiting times are a long-standing problem it inherited from the previous Labor government.

A spokesman for Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge says the Government has invested in more than 140 mental health beds, including new short stay units at five hospitals to directly address emergency department pressures.

As first appeared on ABC News, 2 September 2012


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