The new Action Plan on Mental Health of the government understands that “wishful thinking and no concrete measures” to help people with mental illness, denounces the Association of Quebec psychiatrists (AMPQ).
“Yesterday, I was with a patient who has been hospitalized for 500 days. He expects a place in suitable accommodation. Meanwhile, he remains in the hospital. And in the new plan, nothing is proposed to address this kind of situation, “says Dr. Karine Igartua, president of the AMPQ.
The new Action Plan on Mental Health of the government was long overdue, since the latter had ended in 2010. On Friday, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette filed its new plan from 2015 to 2020, which includes an investment of 70 million . Efforts will be made to include better monitoring among teenagers who too often find themselves left behind when they reach adulthood. The Action Plan also put on a better coordination between the different actors of the network.
“We formulate wishful thinking. It returns this responsibility centers in integrated health and social services (CISSS). But it does not offer anything concrete and, at the same time, they cut budgets, “Dr. Igartua critical.
According to her, the measures should have been taken to promote the creation of housing resources. “We must disgorge acute care beds quickly. These beds cost $ 100,000 per year, “she said.
The Minister’s office Barrette, we reply that the action plan will promote “intensive community treatment.” “This approach avoids the long-term hospitalization or returns to the ER because it is the community who shoulder the person in his recovery: his relatives, aid organizations and community groups have an important role support to play in the monitoring of treatment, relapse avoidance, etc. We believe that this approach is the most appropriate for a long-term care, “says Joanne Beauvais, Press Secretary of the Minister.
Better access to psychotherapy
Psychiatrists also saddened to see that the action plan includes no measures to promote access to psychotherapies. “Sometimes the wait for these treatments to the public is more than a year. As a physician, one is tempted to give more drugs to relieve the patient has to wait more than a year before such a public treatment and can not afford to go private, “notes Dr. Igartua.
The minister’s office Barrette says a notice from the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) is expected in this regard. “Our estimates suggest that it would cost at least 400 million annually that include psychotherapy in the basket from the RAMQ services. It would have been irresponsible to make such announcements without taking the time to receive the notice, “says Beauvais.
Dr. Igartua says the latest action plan for mental health was redirected 75% of resources to the frontline. “But only 40% of patients followed. The heaviest patients can not be treated. We must think about them and, unfortunately, the new plan does not do enough, “she concludes.