Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    WA leads the nation in mental health funding

    19/10/2005 12:00 AM

    A national report has found that Western Australia leads the nation in per capita spending on mental health.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said the WA Government had allocated an additional $173million over three years to improve mental health services, lifting overall spending to more than $300million a year.

    The National Mental Health Report 2004 found that in addition to leading the way in funding, WA reported the highest number of clinical staff working in ambulatory mental health services.

    The report also found that there had been considerable growth in community and general hospital services for mental health patients.

    Mr McGinty said the report recognised the commitment the Gallop Government was making to improve mental health services across the State.

    “For decades mental health has been ignored by both sides of politics,” he said.

    “When the Gallop Government took office in 2001, annual expenditure on mental health totalled $208million.

    ”We have boosted funding significantly and this year the government will spend more than $300million on mental health services, an increase of 50 per cent from 2001.”

    Mr McGinty said WA would be the first state to lift mental health spending to more than nine per cent of the total health budget.

    Over the next three years, spending on mental health initiatives will include:
    • $65million for an additional 113 beds and employ 425 new staff;
    • $65million to build an extra 420 community beds for mental health patients across the State;
    • $23.6million for specialist mental health teams in emergency departments and 19 extra holding beds in tertiary hospitals and Graylands;
    • $11million to expand mental health services for school aged children; and
    • $8.7million to improve safety for mental health staff.
    Mr McGinty said the Office of Mental Health had also embarked on a major interstate and overseas recruitment drive to attract mental health staff to WA.

    Minister's office: 9220 5000