The PSA is hosting regional and online health forums in December to give members another opportunity to have their say in the reshaping of services.
The forums will focus on mental health & addiction services, Māori health inequities, and disability services.
Members are invited to propose solutions from a worker perspective to failures that have been identified in the system.
The forums are in Wellington on December 2, Christchurch December 3, and Auckland December 6.
The forums come six months after the Government released its response to He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry in Mental Health and Addiction, closely followed by a $1.9 billion mental health package in this year’s budget.
As the Government has been implementing changes, the PSA has been working to ensure our members who will be delivering transformed mental healthcare are represented in the redesign of services.
We’ve been meeting regularly with Deputy Director-General of Mental Health & Addiction Robyn Shearer, while PSA representatives have also met with the MHA Directorate to discuss the struggling state of crisis teams.
As a result of this crisis team delegates will soon be invited to gather workforce experiences and ideas to report back to the Ministry of Health.
Several new mental health initiatives have already begun making headway.
These include a $6m pilot programme giving 22 general practices and kaupapa Māori providers funding to place trained mental health workers into primary health services such as doctors’ clinics and iwi health providers.
The Government’s suicide prevention strategy has identified national leadership, using evidence, workforce development, and evaluation and monitoring, as keys to building a strong system that supports wellbeing and responds to people’s needs.
An initial Mental Health Commission has been announced to help establish a permanent commission in February 2021. The Commission will track the Government’s progress on actions to improve mental healthcare, reporting back to the Minister of Health.
A survey of wāhine Māori in the PSA has drawn a fantastic response - with more than 900 members taking the time to tell us about their employment experiences.
Your salaries generally reflect the gender and ethnic pay gaps seen in the wider workforce with Pākeha men well out in front of other groups.
That’s why we’ve made a submission on the Government’s new discussion document on FPAs and have been encouraging members to make sure their voices are heard.
Their role is to organise and advocate for Māori members in their sectors. They also represent their sectors on Te Kōmiti o Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina and on sector committees.
Staff from the Ministry’s policy teams have attended UN indigenous rights forums in Geneva and New York.