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Abbott government cuts lead to axing of high-performing SA community health program

Media Release
Penny Wright 3 Jul 2015

The Greens say it is deplorable that Abbott Government's health cuts will lead to the loss of an $8 million community care program and force mentally ill patients in South Australia to spend more time in hospitals.

Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health and Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said that the government has pulled the rug out from under this program that works, has been cost-effective, and significantly improves the lives of South Australians.

"This is another example of the Abbott government's poor and chaotic decision-making when it comes to mental health services. First they did away with a dedicated Mental Health Minister, then they pushed many community organisations to a funding cliff, leaving them unable to plan for future programs. Now this brutal cut has led to the loss of a proven program, pushing people into more costly hospital admissions instead.

"This short-sighted decision means a higher burden on our hospital system and worse outcomes for individuals and families struggling with mental ill-health."

The South Australian Intensive Home Based Support Services Program will end after the Coalition withdrew funding in the May budget, coming into effect for the 2015-16 financial year. The program has provided individually tailored intensive home-based support services for people suffering from mental ill-health. Cutting this program is anticipated to affect approximately 600 people per year. 

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