Increase Mental Health Funding
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Currently, mental health services are unable to provide the care and help that Kiwis need. Since 2008, there has been a 60 per cent increase in people needing mental health services. Funding has not kept up. Services are stretched and patchy. People are falling through the cracks. A quarter of suicides are people who had been in contact with mental health services at least a month before their passing.
“Local health professionals know their patients the best but currently, they don’t have the resources to help them. Mental health services are underfunded and over-stretched, acting as an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ that is only available to people during periods of significant mental health distress. There is a huge gap in care for people when they have mild to moderate mental health needs.” According to Labour Government’s recent release they will be working towards increasing health funding. Labour is committed to ensuring health workers are equipped to do their valuable work.
“Our families’ health is our greatest treasure but it’s becoming more difficult for many people to afford to see the doctor. Chronic underfunding has seen fees rise rapidly. Half a million New Zealanders did not visit the doctor last year when they were sick due to cost. That’s not acceptable in New Zealand.
“As of currently, within the nation, the average cost for a child aged 6-17 to visit a GP during the in-hours period (covering 25% of the week) was $24, with charges ranging from $0 to $60. The average cost for an after-hours visit (covering 75% of the week) was $44, with charges ranging from $0 to $89.” The fact that a GP appointment costs between $0 to $60 can be considered a factor in the lack of those who need help not getting help. Especially in terms of a GP visit. It is not clear to many of the public, but when you visit your GP in relation to mental health, they are then in demand to help you get help. Your GP should refer you to the help you need and can provide a way of funding for further treatment if applicable. If the first step can get more funding, the GP visit, then from there, those who suffer with mental health issues will be provided with access to more help with the help of their GP’s referrals.
The issue I am targeting falls under the category of mental health. The issue is the lack of services and funding for those who suffer from mental health conditions and their quality of life is limited due to the lack of funds available. The issue of mental health is very broad, and can refer to many things. My aim is to generally increase subsidy and increase funding available for mental health. To specify the action I am taking, I am directly focusing on campaigning for more funding available for mental health related GP appointments. The policy I am aiming to change is the cost of a GP appointment related to mental health.
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