Press headline Jan 8 --- “Human scandal looming” it goes on to say – The city’s elderly warn a human scandal is looming with hundreds being refused elective surgery in Christchurch.
David Meates,CEO of the CDHB said the CDHB was meeting the targets set by the Ministry of Health but acknowledged it should be doing better.
A man who was referred back to his GP said “The worst part about it is if you’ve got the money you can have it done tomorrow”.
David Meates said “Overwhelming demand for mental health has taken away any ability for us to increase spending on electives above what is required to meet the health target”.
Press headline Dec 29 – “Govt. criticised over declining mental health”. The article is about the overwhelming demand for mental health services that David Meates talks about in the January article.
There seems to be disagreement between all the authorities involved and who are no closer to solving the problem. The chair of the Hospital Medical Staff Ass. wrote to the Minister of Health urging the government to take their concerns very seriously.
A paper was sent to the ministry from the CDHB and Cera intending to finalise an agreement about the on-going monitoring of the priority area of improving peoples welbeing. But the ministry chief medical officer Don Makie suggested the increase in mental health issues could be due to a change in the delivery of services and more people were using secondary mental health services because they are more accessible, rather than as a consequence of quake-driven stressors.
The CDBH mental health manager responded in a letter saying, “Within the Ministry there appears to be a dogged determination to deny any earthquake – related increase in mental health needs and an absence of practical support to assist us”.
Elderly people wait. For some it has been waiting 5 years to get repaired. Some are dying waiting. It is a difficult process for anyone but more so for elderly people living on their own.
I was out for a walk last weekend and came past an elderly friends house. There is a big wire fence around her house and her next door neighbours. It was Sunday, no one was about. She was out the front watching her house. Wondering!
She is living in temporary accommodation The completion date for her house is another 20 weeks away. She has a list in her car of the roads around here that are closed because of the work being done to repair all the earthquake damage, so she can work out the best way to get to her house.
There are houses yet to be demolished and new houses built and houses to be repaired and apparently EQC has about 5500 second time repairs to carry out because of bad workmanship.
Old people have been sentenced to home detention for the last five years because the footpaths are so bad or none existing.
This doesn't just affect the people living in those houses, it affects us all.
This is what people have been living with for five long years all over Christchurch and it is going be another long time before it is all finished. It is a massive job and the workers are doing their level best but I repeat , it has been five years and counting.
So we have people who need elective surgery but can't get it because of the increasing demand for mental health services. Because of the stress this will cause these people they will probably end up adding to the increasing number of people needing the mental health services. Is this the definition of “Ever decreasing circles?
Then we have Don Makie from the Ministry of Health who thinks that the increase in mental health issues are not earthquake related. Yeah right.
I would like him to come down here from Wellington and sit with my friend in her car for an hour. He doesn’t need to speak, he can just sit there and watch her house.
Maybe we should just give him her address and ask him to find his own way there.