“Comments from Health Minister Andrew Little about throwing billions at the health system with no results show he’s completely out of his depth,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

In a Newsroom article today Little says “So, what I’m saying is how can we possibly have pumped in billions of extra dollars, and it not appear to have made a difference?’’

“Labour loves to spend taxpayer’s money. It only has two solutions to problems: throw billions of bucks at it or ban it.

“The Minister is close to an epiphany – the epiphany being that just throwing around money doesn’t solve problems.

“A Minister of the Crown should be targeting spending to get the best value for money for every dollar spent – not just writing a cheque.

“ACT has solutions to improve our health system, especially around mental health.

"We would create Mental Health and Addiction New Zealand (MHANZ).

"MHANZ would not be a provider of services, but a world-class commissioning agency that assesses individual needs and contracts the best providers for a person’s therapy and care. It would put people at the heart of the system.

"MHANZ would develop expertise in evaluating where the money is going and what services work based on evidence and data. It would issue clear and certain contracts to service providers while evaluating the outcomes and quality of care.

"Any provider that meets strict criteria would be able to register with MHANZ to provide treatment and care. Funding for services would be determined by and attached to the care of individuals and their needs. MHANZ would carefully monitor providers to ensure New Zealanders are receiving high quality care.

"Patients would be able to choose any registered provider for their immediate care, providing greater autonomy, or would be referred to a specific provider in cases where a person lacks the capacity to do so or requires specialised treatment.

"We can and must do better to help people change their futures. ACT’s vision is for mental health and addiction services will empower New Zealanders."

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