Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says there isn’t a mental health crisis despite a new Government report finding ballooning specialists wait times for children and adolescents, and increased antidepressant and antipsychotic medication dispensing for young people.
All mental health services for children and adolescents are short at least a quarter of clinical roles, with the deficit as high as 40 per cent in Wellington, despite a huge $1.9 billion investment in mental health from the Labour Government as part of its wellbeing budget in 2019.
This is a great example of Labour’s legacy – huge increases in funding, yet worse outcomes.
Some Ministers think that all you have to do to fix something is agree to spend money. The reality is that fixing complex problems requires a Minister to drive changes in their agencies.
Tony Ryall in Health showed how you can improve things. Rather than try to do 100 things poorly, he set around six health targets which would make a difference – reduced ED waiting times, quicker cancer treatments, more vaccinations etc.
This Government has shown that you can spend almost $2 billion on a problem, and have things get worse. They have managed the same in housing and education also.