Monday, September 7, 2009

Hutt Valley DHB mental health reorganisation...

Re the Hutt News article concerning the reorganisation of HVH Maori Mental Health:

The Maori and Pacifica mental health unit will be disbanded through the reorganisation of mental health at the Hutt Valley Health Board.

We have had a family member being treated there for over 18 months now. We had him transfered when we became disillusioned with the mainstream Mental Health Unit at Hutt Valley DHB. Actually we have been considering having him transfered back again because we have not been happy with his treatment at the Maori Mental Health Unit.

Claims that this decision by HVDHB is rascist and an attempt at assimilation is wrong, insulting and rather stupid in my opinion. I don't believe the Maori Mental health Unit has been successful in recent times at servicing the needs of Maori and Pacifica patients; and they are patients not clients. I think it has been through overwork and staff shortages, not through any lack of ability. Some of the doctors and staff have been quite brilliant at what they do, when they are able to do so!

Lets face it, mental health has been the poor relation in the health sector for a few decades now. To give them more money is philosophically seen as taking money away from mainstream health. Which in itself is totally stupid. The National Party is probably worse than the Labour Party who has been bad enough. To be fair National closes units and department down and Labour doesn't know how to respond!

The general philosophy is these days that all patients should be out in the community - but this is as wrong as sending them all off to Porirua Hospital, and filling them up with strong medication and electric shock treatment.

There is a need for a balance because patients can get into a psychiatric unit at a public hospital only if they are considered as a danger to themselves or others! It can take weeks sometimes to get somebody admitted to the unit at Hutt Hospital - we know because we have been in that situation with our family member. Going up the wall and barking like a dog is not necessarily a good reason for getting admitted. Yeah right!

Hopefully the reorganisation of mental health at the Hutt Valley DHB will be in the best interests of all patients regardless or ethnicity. Those who claim racism, should pull their heads in. If we are not happyat the changes, we can again criticise those responsible. Quite frankly there should be reform at a national level. Can you see it? Yeah right!


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