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  • Qld govt orders mental health inquiry

    Author: AAP

A "very concerning" increase in eating disorders among young people is among the issues expected to be investigated by an inquiry into Queensland's mental health services.

The parliamentary review will look at how the health system is coping with increased demand from the pandemic, as well as a general assessment amid reportedly high presentations.

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"We are seeing an increase in eating disorders, particularly around our young people that is very, very concerning, and we're seeing this nationally," Health Minister Yvette D'Ath told state parliament on Tuesday.

Heath ministers nationwide have written to the federal government regarding the need for "urgent investment" in the mental health space, she says.

"We need to shine a light on mental health and better understand the needs and demand pressures arising from COVID, but also more generally across the mental health system in Queensland," Ms D'Ath said.

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"We are confident that our parliament can play an important role in shaping the future of our mental health services in Queensland."

The health and environment committee will conduct the inquiry, which also comes amid reports the health system is being overwhelmed by mental health patients.

Ms D'Ath said 70 per cent of GP presentations in 2021 had been related to mental health, up from 61 per cent in 2017.

The health minister also said 10 per cent of the state's population had received Medicare-supported mental health care in 2019/20, almost twice the rate as any of the previous 10 years,

Queensland Health also provided specialist clinical mental health care to 2.2 per cent of the state's population in 2019/20.

The state opposition says the inquiry "must be genuine" and deliver solutions to what it is calling a crisis.

"On this Government's watch, our mental health services are crumbling despite the dedication of overworked frontline staff," opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates said on Tuesday.

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