More mental health & addiction nurses
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
11th April 2017
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the number of registered
nurses working in mental health and addictions services has
increased at a higher rate for then other areas of nursing.
"It's important people can access the appropriate mental health
and addiction services that they need," says Dr Coleman.
"We've increased mental health and addiction services funding
from $1.1 billion in 2008/09 to over $1.4 billion for 2015/16. But
there's always more we can do and the Government continues to work
on improving mental health services. Having a dedicated workforce
is an important part of our wider plan.
"New data from Health Workforce New Zealand shows the number of
registered nurses working in mental health and addictions services
has increased at a higher rate than for any other area of nursing
from 2011 to 2016, increasing from 3,583 to 4,206.
"Over that period the number of registered nurses in addiction
services has increased 23 per cent; community mental health has
increased 22 per cent, and hospital based mental health services
have increased 12 per cent.
"We are also seeing a better reflection of the make-up of our
population in our mental health and addictions nursing workforce.
Evidence suggests that matching the demographic of the workforce to
the population improves health outcomes and access to services.
"This year 19 per cent of the new graduates employed in mental
health and addictions identify as Māori, 15 per cent as Pacific and
48 per cent as European.
"Data from the national recruitment system that matches graduate
nurses to jobs tells us that mental health is consistently in the
top three preferences for new graduates."
Dr Coleman says the Government remains committed to actions
designed to ensure we have a well trained workforce.
"The well-established Voluntary Bonding Scheme encourages health
practitioners to practise in specialties and regions that are
traditionally difficult to staff.
"Since 2011, when Mental Health and Addictions was added to the
Scheme for registered nurses, 584 (nearly a third of the 1,846
nurses who registered for the Scheme) have joined under this
"In addition to this, through the Nurse Entry to Specialty
Practice programme, this year's mental health and addictions
programme will see 155 graduate nurses working in this area gain
specialty knowledge with a postgraduate certificate."
The recently published Mental Health and Addiction Workforce
Action Plan confirms the Ministry's commitment to developing a
capable and motivated workforce. The plan is available on the
Ministry of Health website, www.health.govt.nz
Media contact: Angela Kenealy
April 12, 2017