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Overcoming a dearth of psychiatrists

by | Jan 22, 2024 | NATIONAL, NEWS, Opinions | 0 comments

BY: NADIAH KARIM

While the stigma associated with mental health is still prevalent and sufferers are not keen to come forward to get help, there are enough mental health facilities but a dearth of psychiatrists and mental health experts.

In the public sector there is Mentari, health clinics and most hospitals have psychiatrists even those in small towns, and in the private sector, there are psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors available.

However, in general, the country is experiencing a shortage of psychiatrists and the recommended World Health Organization ratio is one psychiatrist per 100,000 people. Malaysia has 0.52 psychiatrists per 100,000.

However, with the increasing number of children in need of mental health support, the country needs to train more doctors to be specialists trained to cater to this age group and to offer full fledged services.

Other concerns expressed by mental health experts include the lack of allied health support such as having sufficient psychologists and counsellors especially in teaching hospitals and public universities.

The need for insurance companies to consider incorporating health coverage for mental illness will go a long way in alleviating the finances of the mentally ill and the funding needed to train mental healthcare providers.

-THE MALAYSIA VOICE

** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher

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