Health Minister's ‘Top Priority' All Talk, No Action

09 August 2017

The Health Minister’s statement that youth suicide is his “top priority” is all talk and no action, says New Zealand First. 

“The Minister’s decision to remove the proposed targets for his suicide prevention strategy out of fear of accountability shows his ‘top priority’ is politics, not health care,” says Ria Bond, New Zealand First List MP based in Invercargill.

“In real terms, the target the Minister scuttled was to save 12 lives a year from suicide.

“New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD. This  ‘top priority’ of the Minister shows he is treating suicide prevention as he does the rest of healthcare - penny pinching and ignoring real need.

“This government has to stop talking about youth suicide and start taking action,” says Ms Bond.