27 July 2010 The Rudd-Gillard has failed yet again to grasp what needs to be done in health.
Today’s announcement of additional $277 million funding for suicide prevention falls far short of the needs of the mental health sector and those who suffer from mental health conditions.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said Labor’s mental health policy was a pale, poor cousin to the Coalition’s commitment of $1.5 billion.
“Julia Gillard and Nicola Roxon have ignored the experts. They have ignored the findings of a Senate Inquiry and they have ignored the recommendations of their own National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.”
“All have laid out what needed to be done in mental health and the Rudd-Gillard Government has failed to take heed of any of them.”
By saying that it would make mental health a priority in a second term in government, Labor is yet again dodging making decisions, Mr Dutton said.
“This is like yesterday’s announcement that they will provide hundreds of doctors and thousands of nurses for emergency departments…in ten years time!”
“In fact Labor’s entire so-called health reform is all somewhere off in the distance, years away, if it ever happens.”
“Worse still,” Mr Dutton said, “the Prime Minister today mentioned that the funds would be available to for suicide prevention measures at The Gap, a suicide hotspot in Sydney; yet it is now apparent that no funding allocation has been made and the local council will have to apply for funding with no guarantee of success. This is raising false hopes.”
Mr Dutton said the contrast between the Coalition and Gillard Labor was clear.
“There is a lot of talk from Labor about health, but little action. The Coalition will take immediate action to provide funding to frontline health workers to improve and expand services for patients.”
“Only a Coalition Government will end the waste, repay the debt, stop the taxes, stop the boats and help families,” Mr Dutton said.
Media contact – John Wiseman 07 3205 9977 – 0429 983 618