Response from NT Medicare Local regarding funding cuts
July 22, 2014
‘Celebrity Parent Hero Award’ goes to Jo Stanley
July 23, 2014

Questions from Practitioners of Central Australia

(*This blog post relates to previous posts: Response from NT Medicare Local regarding funding cuts‘, ‘The End for NT Indigenous Mental Health Service?‘, ‘Response to Warren Snowdon’s media release‘, ‘Media release re funding cuts from Warren Snowdon MP‘; ‘More on mental health funding cuts…‘; and ‘The loss of RFDS from nntaria – funding slashed‘) 

The following questions and requests for clarification were raised by practitioners in Central Australia  in response to the Chair of NTML, Dr Andrew Bell’s, letter, posted yesterday on the CASSE Blog:

  1. Whether NTML received the same amount from the Commonwealth as they did last year, or whether their Commonwealth grant was reduced by an amount equivalent to their underspending, and whether this underspending was the MHSRRA underspend, or a total NTML underspend;
  2. It doesn’t explain why, if it was the latter reason in 1. above, why then was there only half the amount for the westside MHSRRA team when their previous budget was not composed half of rollover funds, when the RFDS had lodged a budget request that was not dependent on receiving the rollover  as well as their normal base funding?
  3. Is it the case that the service was due to finish 12 months later? If so, it seems very puzzling, if not extraordinary that funding was not provided to secure the final term of service provision into 2015?
  4. Why have they halved the westside MHSRRA team’s funding, and at the same time (allegedly) provided new grants to previously unfunded MHSRRA services in other parts of the NT (in the Barkly and East Arnhem areas I think)?
  5.  Who is going to service the ten communities and 50 plus outstations in Central Australia and how, given the alleged deficits in funding and the deployment of experienced clinicians?
  6. Will Aboriginal people be advised or consulted of new service expressions of interest before funding is committed?