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NBK calls for a balanced distribution of mental health services

Abu Dhabi: Salam Abu Shehab
Members of the Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Federal National Council called for the need for a balanced distribution of mental health services in all regions of the country, to facilitate patient access to them. Explaining that some regions and cities do not have mental health services.
And they said in a parliamentary report, of which Gulf News obtained a copy: that the members of the committee reached this conclusion, during the preparation of a report on the policy of the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, on mental health, as they conducted 5 field visits to government hospitals, in addition to the committee’s meetings with representatives of government sectors. And the local and local seminars, and the panel discussion they held, to get acquainted with the level of services provided in mental health, and the level of care provided to patients.
Naama Al-Sharhan, the second deputy chairman of the council, chairperson of the Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, said: There are great efforts, appreciated and thankful for what we observed during our field visit and the outcomes of the meetings that took place, the field visits and the discussion panel. To build communities and families, a discrepancy was observed in the type of services provided to psychiatric patients in health institutions, which led to some patients not benefiting from psychological treatment services, and increasing pressure on mental health units in hospitals. And the psychological factor has emerged significantly after the “Corona” pandemic. She pointed out that there are specialized facilities for the treatment of mental illnesses in some emirates, while there are no units in other emirates. Demanding the need to work to reach an equation of health services provided to mental patients, inquiring about the efforts and initiatives developed by the Ministry to achieve parity between health authorities concerned with mental health services.
Somaya Al-Suwaidi said: Through our visits to a number of government hospitals, we found many achievements that we are proud of in mental health, but there are some challenges that we need to stand at. During the field visits, we noticed the lack of a balanced distribution of mental health services in all regions of the country, and there is a shortage in psychiatric departments and clinics, which has led to some patients not benefiting from psychological treatment services, as well as the challenge of closing child psychiatric clinics in some hospitals, due to the lack of specialists.
She said: We hope in the next stage to see many achievements in expanding mental health in all emirates of the country. She stressed the importance of having a psychiatrist in every health center, to whom the situation was referred, before cases escalated through health centers, to solve many mental health challenges.
Shatha Al-Naqbi said: Through the committee’s discussion of the axis of the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, in expanding the scope of comprehensive and integrated mental health services, and promoting the prevention of mental disorders for members of society, the committee noticed a disparity in the distribution of health services, but we have a number of treatment centers, which were not distributed well. between the emirates. There is an increase and pressure on mental health units in hospitals, and a lack of health services in other hospitals.
Representatives of the Ministry and the Emirates Foundation for Health Services said: With regard to the establishment of specialized centers and units, there is more than one school, more than one mechanism, and more than one method, and the work of the Foundation remains restricted to certain frameworks through which it tries to provide the best service within the available framework. The Ministry and the Foundation are seeking to reach the service owner, and this was one of the challenges we faced at the time of the pandemic, and we provided a help line “Speak to hear you”, in addition to the telemedicine service. The Foundation has also placed mental health at the top of its priorities, and seeks to provide a comprehensive and integrated system, provided in a sustainable healthy environment, and for the largest number of customers to benefit from these services.

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