6 Apr 2010

Concern mental health funding siphoned away

3:17 pm on 6 April 2010

There are fears allocated mental health funding is being siphoned into other areas as district health boards are forced to reduce their budgets.

In the past, money for the sector has been protected but many now say the ring-fence is leaking.

The Government says the ring-fence is still in place but late last year DHBs were advised they had some flexibilty if under significant financial pressure.

The Mental Health Commission says there is anecdotal evidence DHBs are now using that option.

In particular, chair Peter McGeorge says a number of important community-based mental health providers have had to close due to lack of funding or certainty.