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Sunday, 23 June 2013

BENDIGO AND LODDON SOUTHERN MALLEE MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS SUFFERING UNDER THE NAPTHINE GOVERNMENT

Mentally ill patients in the Loddon Southern Mallee Region are suffering from a lack of availability of services under the Napthine/Ryan Coalition Government, Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards said today.

Recently released data from the State Government revealed that more than one in three mentally ill patients were forced to wait for longer than 8 hours at Bendigo Health’s emergency department before accessing a bed during the January to March 2013 period - the worst result in regional and rural Victoria.

“These results point to a serious lack of mental health services for residents living in the Loddon Southern Mallee region,” Ms Edwards said.

“Across the state, more than 800 mentally ill Victorians waited in an emergency department for a bed for longer than eight hours during the first three months of this year.

“Leaving mentally ill patients languishing in emergency departments is simply not good enough.

“Unfortunately, the results for the Loddon South Mallee area are the worst in regional and rural Victoria.”

Ms Edwards said the decision by the Napthine/Ryan Coalition Government to cut health funding by a further $210 million in the recent State Budget would only deepen the mental health crisis.

“The decision by the Liberal National Coalition Government to rip a further $210 million out of Victoria’s health system will have a devastating effect on mental health treatment services,” he said.

“We’re already seeing some extremely poor results across our health system.”

“Many mentally ill patients are simply not able to access community-based mental health services before entering hospital, while one in five patients is failing to receive care in the community after leaving hospital.

“When will Mr Napthine and Mr Ryan take responsibility for this mess or demonstrate some compassion for some of our state’s most vulnerable people?”

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