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The Vic Budget has failed to make a truly significant investment in mental health. This is now the only answer for Victoria’s mental health sector - AMA Vic

Tuesday 2 May 2017

The 2017-18 Victorian State Budget has failed to make the significant and wide-sweeping investment in mental health services that is desperately needed. While the Budget directed solid funding towards hospital services, and addressed many areas identified in the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria’s pre-budget submission, this omission represents a lack of understanding of the dire situation for mental health services in this state.

“It is incredibly disappointing that the Victorian Government has failed to make the significant investment in mental health that is needed to address the successive failures of governments over recent years,” Dr Lorraine Baker, President of AMA Victoria said today.

“In AMA Victoria’s pre-budget submission to the Treasury Department and in our subsequent meetings with the Victorian Government, we made it clear that truly significant funding in mental health is paramount. Today’s Budget does not go far enough, the funding for mental health will not make the difference that is desperately needed.

“The Victorian Government has made the necessary, and long overdue, funding requirements to address domestic violence in Victoria, directing $1.9 billion over the next four years. The same level of investment is urgently required to fix Victoria’s 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.

“Too many Victorians are unable to access the healthcare that they need. AMA Victoria was hopeful that today’s Budget would address these wide-spread inadequacies: it does not,” Dr Baker said.

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

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