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Boost for mental health and addiction services

Gisborne will get a new inpatient mental health and addiction unit, and the existing acute mental health facility at Gisborne Hospital will be refurbished, Health Minister Dr David Clark confirmed in Gisborne today.

The two projects will receive between $15m and $20m in funding from the $1.7 billion set aside in last week’s Wellbeing Budget for investment in health infrastructure over the next two years.

“The people of Tairawhiti who require these services don’t have local access to a residential drug treatment facility or any dedicated beds. This will now change as a result of our Wellbeing Budget,” said Dr Clark.

“We know that health infrastructure plays a key role in ensuring New Zealanders have access to high quality services, and that they get the care they need and deserve.

“This funding will support Hauora Tairawhiti to develop its proposed residential flexible step up/step down facility for both mental health and addiction patients.

“The Ministry of Health is working with the DHB to accelerate the planning and development of this project, which includes the redevelopment of the mental health inpatient unit, Te Whare Awhiora.

“The DHB’s eight bed facility, Te Whare Awhiora, needs to be updated to ensure it is fit for purpose, particularly the seclusion rooms and outdoor areas.

“The new facility will be tailored to meet the needs of the people of Tairawhiti.

“This reflects a new approach to ensure that services are designed alongside iwi, people with lived experience, and communities, to meet the specific needs of people in different regions and deliver better access and more choice.

“Funding for this project is subject to confirmation of the DHB’s detailed business case, and final approval by joint ministers,” Dr Clark said.