Veteran support overlooked in Budget

Despite calls from the veteran community, Labor’s latest State Budget did not commit to restoring crisis beds at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital for those who have served in our defence forces and are now battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

With a significant focus on mental health and veteran suicide at the present time, this Budget was the chance for Labor to restore the beds it removed at the Heidelberg Hospital.

Veterans are currently being turned away when they are at their most vulnerable because the mental health crisis care beds have been removed.

What was known as Ward 17 at Heidelberg traditionally catered for our veteran community and while it has now been opened up to emergency service personnel and TAC clients – an initiative we support – the removal of the ability to cater for crisis cases makes no sense.

It is a service that should be restored, but instead Labor has no plan to support better mental health outcomes for our veterans in crisis.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health Georgie Crozier

This is just another area where this Labor Government is letting down the Victorian community when it comes to health care.

With the current spotlight on mental health and veteran suicide, this was the opportune time to restore these services to support those who defend our nation.

A relatively small investment could have delivered a major outcome for our veteran and emergency services personnel, but instead they’re waiting long and longer for the urgent care they need.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs Tim Bull

When asked about this issue recently in Question Time, Veterans Minister Shaun Leane fumbled out an answer that this was not his responsibility. I would have though the Veterans Minister should be right at the forefront of this issue, pushing for the right outcome.

His silence is disappointing and so is the fact it has been overlooked for funding. It was the major issue our veteran community was looking to have addressed in this State Budget.

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