Mental health services and youth health are two of the big items on local health professionals' wish lists ahead of the Budget.

Michael Naera, suicide prevention project leader at Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao Trust, said the main priority should look at suicide prevention, in particular Maori suicide rates and attempts.

"A strong focus in the Budget should be behind Maori developing initiatives which benefit Maori."

Mr Naera said mental health should be looked at in general and ensuring the service had adequate resources, ensuring no long wait times and helping people access mental health services.


"It should have a focus on a community approach."

Tobacco control was also important, because Maori have a high use of tobacco at the moment, Mr Naera said.

He said programmes should be offered that were culturally appropriate, and the funding should go towards reducing smoking in the community.

Rotovegas Youth Health clinical leader Dr Tania Pinfold said youth health and youth mental health was of utmost importance.

"We're keen for anything that improves access for young people to mental health services. Rotovegas Youth Health has 10,000 consultations a year and we can do a lot more in our local community. Our budget is currently at the limit."

She also said nationwide there needed to be youth one-stop-shops in communities, to help youth access health services.

"Labour's election proposal to have a registered youth health trained nurse in all high schools is an excellent idea."

Henrietta Egger, practice manager at Te Ngae Medical Centre, said the single biggest need for change was the inequity of the Very Low Cost Access programme.


"This urgently needs to be addressed and to date the Health Minister has declined to look at the issue, despite a recommendation being made. All low income New Zealanders regardless of which GP practice they chose to be enrolled with should receive the same subsidised care."

She said funding isn't always given to the patients most in need at present, it is given to the practice, resulting in inequality for many of those with low incomes.

"Te Ngae Medical Centre would also like to see better funding in primary care, with more direct access services for our patients to see social workers and clinical psychologists. We would like our patients to have better access to these services through our practice."

Lakes District Health Board chief executive Ron Dunham did not want to comment prior to the Budget.