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Mental health takes back seat for budget

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MENTAL HEALTH TAKES BACK SEAT FOR BUDGET October 4, 2012 ยท Leave a Comment

ACT Senator Gary Humphries has criticised the government for its plans to cut funding for mental health services across the country.

In January 2013 the Gillard Government will reduce access to psychological treatment through Medicare to just 10 appointments, a move that Senator Humphries has called ‘mean, damaging cost-cutting’.

“This is the lowest Labor has stooped to claw money back for their failing budget surplus”, Senator Humphries said.

“Labor allows for massive cost blowouts in areas such as the NBN and immigration and then turns to cutting programmes in mental health to make up for it”.

The Alliance for Better Access has pointed out that internationally recognised minimum treatment standard for common disorders like depression and anxiety is to offer access to between 15 and 20 appointments, even for moderate levels of symptom severity.

“Labor has to answer why their cuts to mental health will result in drastically reduced services for those who need help”.

Labor had formerly promised to establish 16 Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres - so far not one has been delivered.

“Labor is more than happy to announce important programmes to those in need but not so happy to follow through with delivering them.

“Australians have the right to be doubtful of anything this government promises - Labor has a track record of overpromising and under delivering.

“When it comes to funding for mental health, Labor can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk”, Senator Humphries concluded.

4 September 2012

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