The Western Australian Government is spending $3 million extra on more experienced clinical staff and new therapy programs in an effort to improve mental health services in the Peel and Rockingham Kwinana area, south of Perth.
Health Minister Jim McGinty opined that the new therapy services would lessen the burden on City Hospitals. "We need a balance of all of the health clinical professionals," he said. "We need to make sure we've got mental health nurses. We need to make sure we've got social workers, occupational therapists. A successful community-based team is better than merely more psychiatrists."
But the Australian Medical Association's (AMA) state president, Paul Skerritt said that allotting only one psychiatrist was not enough for each team. Mr McGinty though feels that in the past residents had relied on city hospitals and keeping at least some staff would lessen that burden.
"We need to transfer the services of mental health care away from hospital and into the community so that we can keep people well and out of hospitals," he said.