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The VIC State Budget must deliver unprecedented funding for mental health services. This is now the only answer.

Friday 24 March 2017

The VIC State Budget must deliver unprecedented funding for mental health services. This is now the only answer.

AMA Victoria’s State Budget Submission to the Victorian Government calls for urgent and unprecedented investment in mental health. Major funding is now the only answer.

 Extract from AMA Victoria’s State Budget Submission

Victoria’s mental health services are in crisis.

AMA Victoria believes the mental health sector is in dire need of significant investment – similar to the Victorian Government’s response to family violence.

As a consequence of decades of under-funding, major investment in mental health is now the only answer. This must be across public hospital inpatient capacity, primary care and community mental health services.

 

“The Victorian Government took leadership in 2015 and made the necessary, and long overdue, funding requirements to overhaul domestic violence in Victoria, directing $572 million towards the Royal Commission’s recommendations. This was needed, and the AMA, like many others across the state, applauded this funding,” Dr Lorraine Baker, President of AMA Victoria said.

“What is now needed is for the Victorian Government, ideally with bipartisan support, to address with the same level of purpose and commitment the state’s destitute mental health sector. Mental health services in public hospitals, primary care and community mental health settings have been underfunded and ignored for decades. This has resulted in extremely long waits and limited choice for patients and their families, an overstretched mental health workforce, and a heavy reliance on private settings. This has resulted in too many Victorians being blocked from accessing the healthcare that they need.

“In Victoria, we have two public children’s hospitals, a public cancer hospital, two public trauma hospitals, a public eye and ear hospital, a public women’s hospital. By comparison, public hospital inpatient capacity for mental health is remarkably insufficient and fragmented. This must change.

“Major investment in mental health is now the only answer. We implore the Premier and his Government to make a significant, unprecedented investment in mental health in this year’s State Budget,” Dr Baker said.

AMA Victoria’s Budget submission can be read here.

MEDIA CONTACT

Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506 / felicityr@amavic.com.au

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