La­bor calls for boost to men­tal health beds

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - DAVID KILLICK Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor For 24/7 cri­sis sup­port call Life­line on 13 11 14

THE long wait times for men­tal health pa­tients to re­ceive ur­gent treat­ment at Tas­ma­nian hospi­tals were un­ac­cept­able, state par­lia­ment has heard.

Pa­tients were be­ing forced to wait days for care and am­bu­lance of­fi­cers were spend­ing long pe­ri­ods ramped out­side hospi­tals wait­ing with them, Op­po­si­tion Leader Re­becca White said.

A coro­nial in­quest into the death of Morn­ing­ton man Joseph Lattimer, 37, who at­tempted to take his own life while wait­ing to be ad­mit­ted to the RHH for psy­chi­atric treat­ment, be­gan in Ho­bart on Mon­day.

The Coroners Court heard psy­chi­atric pa­tients of­ten faced long de­lays when they sought care through the hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment.

Ms White called on the Gov­ern­ment to in­crease the num­ber of men­tal health beds.

“Will you fi­nally lis­ten to the ad­vice of clin­i­cians and in­crease the num­ber of acute men­tal health beds at the Royal Ho­bart Hos­pi­tal to stop pa­tients dy­ing while they’re wait­ing for the care that they need,” she asked Health Min­ster Sarah Court­ney in state par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

Ms Court­ney said the Gov­ern­ment was “fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing bet­ter men­tal health care for Tas­ma­ni­ans through our $104 mil­lion men­tal health plan”.

“As you are aware we are of course open­ing 44 new beds at the Royal next year and this will in­clude a new six-bed men­tal health as­sess­ment unit.”

She ex­tended her con­do­lences to Mr Lattimer’s fam­ily for their loss.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.