Budget ‘fails to deliver’ on mental health

ABC NEWS Updated Wed May 12, 2010 12:43am AEST
Doctors have welcomed the $7.3 billion in health spending announced in the federal budget but are concerned the areas of Indigenous and mental health were ignored.
Treasurer Wayne Swan says the funding, which will top $23 billion by the end of the decade, is needed as Australia’s population grows and ages.

An extra $2.2 billion was included in the budget for health on top of the $5.1 billion the Government recently directed towards hospitals.

The money will be focused on areas of primary care, with more money for clinics and nurses to staff them.

AMA president Dr Andrew Pesce says overall, it was a pretty good night.
“We will wait to see how it pans out,” he said.  But he said the areas of mental and Indigenous health had not done as well.

“We all recognise the increasing burden of mental health problems in the community,” he said.

“This budget fails to deliver on the expectations that people working in that part of the sector really have been working on.”

Dr Pesce said it was also important to note the available workforce.  “It may take some time for those extra places to come through,” he said…read the full story.