National Party health spokeswoman Lynda Scott says reports of patients being detained in police cells for up to five days show the Government is ignoring Auckland's mental healthcare crisis.

"Throwing money at mental health is not working. The relevant ministers need to get more beds up and running immediately, rather than just talking about providing more beds," she said.

"We shouldn't have to sit around waiting for more lives to be lost before we get more mental health beds for these vulnerable patients."

Health Minister Annette King pointed to the list of 15 new intensive beds and rehabilitation beds or packages of care that she said the Waitemata District Health Board was buying from the private sector or providing itself.

And several extra millions of dollars were coming from the Government after June, she said.

But her spokesman said the Government was frustrated that some of the new packages of care, announced in December, were taking so long to commission. They are expected next month.

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