Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan)
My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Mental Health, Mr Foley, and the action I seek is for him to urgently review the amount of rehabilitation beds available to Victorians and commit to ensuring that more beds are brought into the system as soon as is possible.
Victoria’s specialist alcohol and other drug treatment services are overwhelmed.
Forty thousand Victorians currently access treatment services each year, yet there are almost that many waiting for a place.
And whilst there are a spectrum of residential and community treatment options providing first-class, effective services to the people who desperately need them, we need more—more options for counselling, for withdrawal services, for general rehabilitation and pharmacotherapy services and, simply put, more physical beds.
Treatments that are managed by a clinician with specialist expertise in rehabilitation.
Treatments that are goal focused.
Treatments that are person centred.
Treatments that aim to ensure the patient can optimise their independence.
Treatments that are compassionate and work.
I have spent a great deal of time on this issue, and I know that the Labor government and the minister are doing the best job they can with what they have. The opening of a second medically supervised injecting centre was certainly a welcome announcement.
But there needs to be a shift in thinking in terms of the rehabilitation facilities across this state. I know the minister is aware that there is a shortage; I know he is live to the issue.
But how much longer can these people wait?
I am of the understanding that there some organisations preparing some exciting new proposals that feature innovative funding components. Of course, they require the government to stump up some cash for support.
I urge the minster to review the amount of rehabilitation facilities in Victoria and make it a priority for the government to open desperately needed new facilities urgently.