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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Concerning reports of mental health patients languishing in Graylands Hospital, some for more than a decade, has highlighted just how crucial it is for Mental Health to return to the Health portfolio, the AMA (WA) said today.
“Separating the mental health and health portfolios has proved to be a failed experiment,” AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said.
“The separation of the two portfolios continues to cause fragmentation of care, with more and more mental health patients slipping through cracks in the health system.
“We have been pushing for the closure of Graylands Hospital for years now, and it is high time we provide best-practice care and services to the mentally ill in our State.
“We live in the 21st century. We should not force mental health patients to live in 19th century conditions.
“Graylands Hospital has served many patients well for over a century. Unfortunately, while the nature of Psychiatric care has improved dramatically over the past 100 years, the living conditions of our mental health patients have not kept up with the times.
“The State Government must step up and provide immediate avenues of care to the patients who have been stuck in the hospital for years.
“This level of complete indifference by the Government is completely unacceptable.
“Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen the release of an unfunded 10-year Mental Health Plan and a supposedly comprehensive Suicide Prevention Strategy. Yet at the frontline, where it really matters, Psychiatrists are under increasing pressure and mental health services are haemorrhaging.
“We need a renewed focus on acute psychiatry beds in public hospitals, it is inexcusable that a significant portion of mental health patients are being treated in our emergency departments.
“The sector needs undivided focus, initiative and most importantly, action. We believe Mental Health will receive the attention it so desperately needs once it is returned to the Health portfolio” Dr Gannon said.