Statement on Government’s response to the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry report
Attributable to Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) President-Elect Dr John Bonning
- ACEM notes the Government’s response to the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry report.
- Improving mental health care is critical. When services are inadequate, patients with acute mental and behavioural conditions present to the emergency department.
- Specialist emergency physicians and emergency department staff will always provide quality care for these patients in a timely manner and with the greatest chance of positive outcomes.
- However, caring for these patients in this environment is not ideal, as our report, released on Monday, highlights.
- With the investment in new services, the Government needs to increase the availability to both office-hours and in particular after hours mental health services to ensure that there are alternatives to emergency departments for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
- We look forward to meeting with government, and key people and organisations in the NZ health system, in Wellington on June 7 at our Mental Health in the Emergency Department Summit to explore current models of care and changes needed to improve the delivery of timely, safe quality care.
On Monday, May 27 ACEM released its mental health services report, and outlined a number of policy and resource measures to address this issue.