RANZCP calls National Party to match Labour’s focus on the health crisis ahead of October election

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) welcomes Labour's commitment, announced today, to grow the health workforce including a focus on training and recruitment. The mental health system in particular is currently under-resourced and under-delivering for New Zealanders, plagued particularly by the workforce shortage.

Dr Hiran Thabrew, Chair of the RANZCP Tu Te Akaaka Roa, New Zealand National Committee, said: 

“We are experiencing a mental health crisis and New Zealanders cannot be given enough help, or the right help, in a system that’s operating at crisis-point. This demand will continue to grow but the system isn’t keeping up. Ahead of the election next month, we need The National Party, but equally all parties, to consider urgent, concrete reform and action, ensuring the mental health care and addiction system can meet the growing needs of the community.”

The RANZCP is calling on all political parties to make mental health a priority for the next parliament.

RANZCP is calling for commitments to:

1. Urgently address the workforce shortage

Invest $60 million investment over six years to support 60 new psychiatry trainees through the system and into practice.

2. Support the 260,000 New Zealanders suffering from moderate-to-severe mental illness with the greatest need:

  • Increase future mental health budgets to meet population growth and the rising cost of existing services by $7.7 million per year, equating to $25m over three years
  • Commit to the spending previously announced - provide the mental health budget for mental health services.

3. Commit to making evidence-based decisions:

  • Invest $27 million over three years for a survey to provide a comprehensive understanding of the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealanders
  • Establish a clinical quality registry program to monitor the quality of mental healthcare
  • Funding to establish systematic, regular collection of workforce data.

RANZCP will be releasing new data on Monday 18 September with alarming insights from the coal-face of New Zealand’s mental health crisis.


For more information or interview with Dr Hiran Thabrew please contact:

Megan Bentley, 0452 214 611, megan@thebraveryishere.com 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments and other groups on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org. In Australia: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

In New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nz or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevention.


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