MENTAL HEALTH POLICY SHOULD BE BIPARTISAN
I am deeply disappointed by Tim Nicholls’ hypocritical and reckless approach to mental health – an issue that should be bipartisan.
In 2014, the Newman Government, in which Mr Nicholls served as the Treasurer, appointed a member to the Mental Health Review Tribunal who was not fully qualified. The member was then involved in approximately 2200 decisions that were legally doubtful, placing doctors and nurses who relied on those decisions at risk of legal action.
Even worse, individuals who received involuntary treatment may have stopped, placing those individuals and the community at risk. Yet last week, Tim Nicholls’ LNP opposed legislation that would fix their mistake and protect the community. In 2014, the LNP also appointed the current President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Yet Tim Nicholls’ LNP now attacks that Tribunal, labelling it as secretive and accountable to no one.
For nearly three years, the LNP in Government presided over the Mental Health Review Tribunal and, since 2014, the LNP has introduced two separate Bills to enhance the role of the Tribunal in the current system.
No mental health system is perfect, but one of the system’s goal is to ensure people get treatment that they need, even if they refuse it.
In this way, the system helps to protect the community and individuals. Tim Nicholls and the LNP should be ashamed of themselves for risking the safety of the community for cheap political points.
Cameron Dick, (QLD) Minister for Health