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Labor will fund enhanced mental health patient navigation program to solve Gutwein’s chaotic approach

  • Tasmania’s mental health system a fragmented maze under Liberals
  • Labor’s Patient Navigation Program will improve mental health care
  • Program will enable better support and outcomes

A Majority Labor Government will fund an enhanced Patient Navigation Program to improve the integration of mental health care and ensure no Tasmanian is left behind in the state’s mental health system.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the fragmented Tasmanian system under the Liberals leads to poor clinical outcomes and ongoing frustration in the community.

“The mental health system under the Liberals is a maze with insurmountable barriers for many patients, carers and their families,” Ms White said.

“Patients with complex care needs require more and varied healthcare services, along with a high degree of coordinated care, and evidence has shown that these patients and their families have better outcomes if they have access to integrated care.

“Peter Gutwein – as Treasurer for the past seven years – has cut health by $1.6 billion. He has created chaos with Tasmanians seeking treatment for mental ill health becoming lost in a system that has not met their needs.

“Government should be helping Tasmanians requiring that help – not hindering them – and not making getting help more and more difficult.”

Shadow Health Minister Dr Bastian Seidel said the system for Tasmanians seeking help for mental ill health was on the verge of collapse with psychiatrists just this week telling the AMA they were ready to leave the state rather than continue to face rampant under-resourcing and under-funding.

Significant support will be provided under Labor’s program with $475,000 a year for three volunteer coordinators across three regions and volunteer support and training, in addition to a one-off cost of $100,000 for IT support.

“Under a Majority Labor Government, patient navigation will improve the integration of care for those who need it, providing a personalised service to give people guidance on what service to access and allow them to have all their mental health needs assessed in one place,” Dr Seidel said.

“A Majority Labor Government will provide funding over four years to Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania to provide centralised information for mental health consumers, which can be accessed online, over the phone or face-to-face.

“The patient navigation program would have to have a ‘no wrong door’ policy, to ensure that when a client is not in the right place, they are supported and referred to the correct service.

“No Tasmanian should be left behind in our mental health system and Labor is committed to supporting the patient navigation program as it supports any Tasmanian who needs to access mental health services.”

Rebecca White MP
Labor Leader

Bastian Seidel MLC
Shadow Health Minister