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The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand.

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Mental health report snubbed by SDHB

22 July 2019 Daisy Hudson - Otago Daily Times

A report recommending 100 mental health staff were needed for the Queenstown/Central Otago area was ignored by the Southern District Health Board (SDHB).

In 2013, Otago-based psychiatric nurse Kerry Hand was commissioned by the board to produce a mental health development plan for the area.

Among his recommendations were a “re-balancing exercise” to free up resources, and multi-function teams based in Central Otago towns, including two in the Wakatipu.

“Service in Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes has been a long-standing issue, with an absolute minimum of Southern DHB-funded services, and a dramatic mismatch to a large and rising population,” the report stated.

Using population figures, he estimated 100 staff were needed across the region.

But, six years on, staffing’s just a third of that.

The SDHB, though, says support has increased, and work to develop services is ongoing.

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