RANZCP NSW welcomes new Labor Government in NSW
27 Mar 2023
The peak body for psychiatrists has welcomed the New South Wales Labor government and congratulated NSW Premier Chris Minns, Minister for Health Ryan Park MP and the rest of their team on their victory in the 2023 state election.
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) NSW Chair, Dr Angelo Virgona, said the next parliament was an opportunity for genuine reform to improve the people of NSW’s access to mental health care.
“The election of the new state government presents a valuable opportunity to build a mental health system that is better resourced, better managed, more coherent, and better connected to improve mental health outcomes for NSW residents,” Dr Virgona said.
Productivity Commission data shows NSW had the lowest spend per capita for mental health in 2020-21 – a gap set to widen with recent commitments from Queensland and Victoria to bolster the sector.
“Whilst the pre-election mental health commitments made by NSW Labor were welcome and promising, we need comprehensive reform. Other states are showing it can be done. It’s NSW’s turn.
“We look forward to working with the new Mental Health Minister and Health Minister Ryan Park MP to ensure that mental health remains a top priority for the new government.
An alliance of mental health practitioners, consumers and carers in NSW, led by the RANZCP NSW Branch, has jointly called on the NSW government for urgent implementation of the following asks:
- Establish an expert task force within 12 months to conduct a gap analysis of mental health services across the state.
- Improve access and quality of care through more coherent and connected services, informed by active engagement with key health stakeholders and best-practice, evidence-based care.
- Inject new funding into the state’s mental health system and workforce, similar to Victoria and Queensland
“The new Mental Health Minister has a significant task in front of him, and the mental health sector stands ready, willing, and able to work with the Government at every point.
“Only with strong, consistent leadership in this sector can we realise the kind of reform that NSW’s mental health infrastructure desperately needs.
Dr Virgona said the RANZCP NSW Branch also thanked the outgoing Minister for Mental Health, Hon Bronnie Taylor MLC, for her commitment, and innovative approach to mental health reform in the state during her time in the portfolio.
“The RANZCP NSW Branch thanks Hon Bronnie Taylor MLC for all her work in the sector. We appreciated the opportunity of working collaboratively with her and her team to meet the mental health needs of NSW residents.”
For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
ENQUIRIES: For media enquiries or to arrange an interview contact 0437 315 911.
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 Aotearoa New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, 1737 is here to help, for free - Mental Health. You can also 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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