Friday, January 06, 2006

CRAZY MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM

To the Leftists who dominate our mental health systems, almost nobody is loony these days (unless you are a "racist", of course). I wonder why?

An attack on four police officers by a man wielding a pitchfork on the New South Wales Central Coast has prompted calls for an urgent review of the mental health system. Senior Constable Todd Weston was recovering in hospital today after a 41-year-old mentally ill man allegedly stabbed him in the arm outside a Lake Haven home. Two other officers also were injured in yesterday's melee, with one treated for knife cuts to the hand.

NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney today said the attack was further evidence of a mental health system in crisis. "My officers are out there every day having to deal with this problem and I have had a gutful," he said. "You can understand my frustration - it is not only for the safety of my officers, but also on behalf of mentally ill people and their families." Thousands of police were taken off the beat each day to deal with the mentally ill, particularly in rural areas, Mr Moroney said. "This takes them away from their other policing duties. It means there are less officers available to cover daily tasks."

He said yesterday's confrontation was not an isolated incident. "After the attack officers from the same police station went on to deal with nine other matters involving a mentally ill person last night and this morning," he said. "The numbers are staggering and they are only climbing as more and more mentally ill people come into contact with police. "This is an issue beyond policing, it is an issue beyond state borders, it has become a national health issue."

NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos agreed the mental health crisis "required national action". He said authorities often had to deal with mentally ill patients who had drug-induced violent psychotic episodes. "Particularly in relation to the psycho-stimulants you can get quite aggressive and quite violent and unpredictable behaviours," he said.

NSW Police Association spokesman Luke Hannon said reform was long overdue. "It is clear that too many high-risk people, with little or no health and other support are being released into the wider community," he said. "The Government must urgently address this tragedy of the mentally ill."

More here

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For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

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