Extra $1.9m to boost mental health treatment

  • Government plans to increase mental health treatment for

    Government plans to increase mental health treatment for "currently underserved populations" (File image).

A $1.9 million boost to spending on health will help treat people with mental health problems, it was revealed in the Budget yesterday.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, explained that the Ministry of Health budget was “among the few” that would get extra cash in 2020-21.

The allocation will push the predicted spend on health to $243.3 million.

Mr Dickinson said: “This increase reflects the Government’s recognition and commitment to the fragility of some of our health services and funded programmes and the significant value health plays in Bermuda’s economic growth.

“This increase will assist in providing new community mental health services and increased funding to senior care facilities.”

He added: “The ministry continues to address the needs of adults with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems, some of whom have no next of kin and therefore need the care of the state.

“Currently, the ministry has to care for two individuals in overseas institutions as there is no local capacity to meet their disability or mental health needs, respectively, one individual costing $256,000 per year and the other approximately $350,000 in the upcoming year.

“These are just examples of the extraordinary circumstances dealt with by this ministry, which is charged with a significant mandate over a sector that consumes 11 per cent of the country’s GDP and represents the largest government budget.

“This is money well spent, however, because the health budget is not just expenditure — it is an investment in the economic prosperity of the country, which requires a healthy, productive and economically active population.”

Mr Dickinson told the House of Assembly that the health ministry was made up of five budget heads that funded seven departments, two quangos and 29 boards, councils and committees.

He added: “Together, these entities work to improve the quality, access and sustainability of health services.”

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Published Feb 22, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 22, 2020 at 6:56 am)

Extra $1.9m to boost mental health treatment

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