Independent State Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed this week told the Legislative Assembly successive Victorian Governments had failed country families by ignoring recommendations from health professionals for a Mother – baby Unit at Goulburn Valley Health.
She called on the government to provide the kind of support that families of newborns in the metropolitan area clearly benefit from.
In a question without notice, Ms Sheed also asked Mental Health Minister to affirm the government’s commitment to GV Health’s Perinatal Emotional Health Program.
Ms Sheed said: “The Federal government ceased funding for the National Perinatal Depression Initiative from July 2015.
“Mothers in my electorate will no longer be able to access the local Perinatal Emotional Health Program after December 31 because I understand State Government support will also end.
“This program provided for the early detection and prevention of post and ante-natal depression providing mothers with better and easier access to support and counselling.
“Will the Minister confirm the Andrews Labor Government's commitment to the Perinatal Emotional Health Program at Goulburn Valley Health beyond December 2015, and continue to fund, at a minimum, its 50 per cent share of this important initiative?”
Ms Sheed said she was “encouraged” by Minister Foley’s response.
“Our position continues to be that if the commonwealth government returns to the table to reinstate the 2009 long-term national partnership on mental health, particularly perinatal mental health, this government’s commitment is in the current budget to be supported, and that commitment stands,” Minister Foley told Parliament.