Tuesday, May 6, 2014

For Those Who Think Single-Payer Will Solve The Mental Health Care Crisis in the U.S.

From May 5, 2014 BBC News:
A lack of beds is forcing mental health patients in England to seek treatment in other NHS facilities up to hundreds of miles away, BBC research has found.

The number of patients travelling to seek emergency treatment has more than doubled in two years - from 1,301 people in 2011-12 to 3,024 in 2013-14.

Earlier this year one patient was admitted to a deaf unit as no beds were available anywhere in the country.
Health minister Norman Lamb said out-of-area treatment was a "last resort".

The care and support minister added that it was "unacceptable" if patients had to travel "hundreds of miles" for treatment and said he was determined to drive up standards of care in the NHS.

Leading charities have called the situation scandalous and a disgrace.

One mental health trust spent £345,000 last year placing patients in bed-and-breakfast accommodation in order to free up much-needed beds.
Those numbers don't sound so bad until you realize:

1. Britain has about 1/6 of our population (or less).

2. Lots of people with serious mental health problems in both countries are not interested in getting mental health treatment, preferring homelessness and conditions of astonishing squalor.  (This may seem hard to believe, until you understand the hallucinations and delusions some are suffering.)

3. Britain is a far denser country.  Patients having to go hundreds of miles for care would be equivalent of having to go a thousand miles in America.

Yet, somehow, the NHS still has money to perform sex change operations -- for 80 year olds.  I guess there is a priority problem.

1 comment:

Allen Cogbill said...

I now wonder - after reading Moises Velasquez-Manoff's book, An Epidemic of Absence, whether some mental health problems are auto-immune diseases. Such is speculation, but we know little about mental diseases and why such occur.