On 19 January, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists made a 2017–18 Pre-Budget submission to the Commonwealth Treasury.
The RANZCP’s submission advocated for a reconceptualisation of mental health-care spending in Australia as a way of improving the efficiency of the economy. As mental health disorders account for over 13% of Australia’s total burden of disease and costs the Australian economy an estimated $20 billion annually, directing Commonwealth funding towards mental health care should be understood as an investment, with the potential to generate high returns.
The submission identified 10 key priority areas:
- the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health
- rural workforce distribution
- alcohol and other drug services
- the mental health needs of an ageing population
- the physical health of people living with mental illness
- improved services for people with disorders related to chronic and/or complex trauma
- perinatal, childhood and adolescent mental health services
- vocational support programs for people living with mental illness.
The RANZCP made 44 recommendations in the submission surrounding these priority areas.
Pre-Budget submissions for State and New Zealand governments will be submitted within the next few months.
The full version of the RANZCP’s 2017–18 Pre-Budget submission is available on the website.