Under-funding for patients with mental illness
Mental illness is often not addressed with the same level of legitimacy and funding that physical illnesses are. Now the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) is fighting to bring this unfortunate reality to light among physicians. Dr. Patrick White, CPA president expressed to delegates of a recent Canadian Medical Association (CMA) meeting that, “… despite medicine’s ability to treat and diagnose psychiatric illness as effectively and accurately as it can diagnose and treat most chronic conditions in internal medicine, far too many people don’t get access to care.” The CMA meeting reflects the existence of the international problem of under funding for patients with mental illness. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medical New Today that talks more about the presentation:
“We must commit to ensuring that such discrimination is no longer tolerated. This includes advocating for parity of resources for care. Resources devoted to treating psychiatric illnesses should be similar to that committed to physical illnesses with equivalent levels of disability,” he added. “We asked our colleagues to work together as physicians to transform patient care for mental illnesses beginning by fighting stigma within our own profession and physician organizations. We also asked that they advocate for parity of resources for mental health research and the full range of services needed to treat mental illness. We are encouraged by the support shown by our colleagues in passing a number of motions for collaborative action.”
This year’s annual CMA survey of Canadians on the state of health care reinforces many studies that show that Canadians’ personal experience with mental illness is very prevalent and that they think mental health care is underfunded.
“Today’s announcement of additional funding for the Mental Health Commission of Canada is an encouraging sign that we are on the right track toward transforming mental health care in Canada,” added Dr. White.