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Health Minister needs to provide answers on beds in time for World Mental Health Day

• Tasmanians need answers on mental health beds as state marks Mental Health Week
• Ferguson needs to tell Tasmanians where and when he will provide beds
• Labor’s plan would provide beds and mental health facilities across Tasmanian communities

Health Minister Michael Ferguson needs to finally tell Tasmanians if and when he intends to deliver his promised 25 new mental health beds.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said as Tasmania marked Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day tomorrow, Mr Ferguson needed to say if he intended to keep his promise or take a step further and match Labor’s comprehensive commitments to Tasmanians suffering mental ill health.

“Labor has committed to 12 individual homes in communities state-wide to assist Tasmanians with mental ill health into recovery as well as child and adolescent outreach mental health teams in the South, North and North West,” Ms Lovell said.

“Labor has also committed to funding Psychiatric Emergency Nurses on every shift in the Emergency Departments at each of the state’s major hospitals and to re-opening the Millbrook Rise facility in New Norfolk.

“Additionally Labor would work with clinicians to find a suitable location for up to 10 additional mental health beds to provide a total of 42 acute mental health beds close to the Royal Hobart Hospital and fund 10 public mother and baby unit beds throughout the state.

“These are important and critically needed measures to ensure services and beds are available for Tasmanians suffering mental ill health.

“In contrast, Michael Ferguson has now backed away from his promise to deliver 10 beds at Mistral Place in Hobart – a commitment that was meant to start being delivered in the first 30 days of the Hodgman Liberal Government. A further 15 beds at the gutted Peacock Centre are still in limbo.

“At a time when we again have Tasmanians seeking treatment for mental ill health waiting up to six days in the ED for a bed, Michael Ferguson is still failing to deliver.

“During this important week, he needs to once and for all tell Tasmanians what new services – if any – he intends to deliver.”

Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Health and Preventative Health Care Minister