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We Need More Mental Health Professionals

Juntos Pelo Povo (JPP), party representatives, Paulo Alves warned this morning of the lack of mental health professionals in the Region.

In order to overcome this lack of psychiatrists, SESARAM EPE initiated, in January 2021, the tender procedure for the hiring of two mental health professionals, which, according to Paulo Alves, is “manifestly insufficient” in view of the regions needs. He also pointed out that this insufficiency is further complicated by the fact that there are currently 1,500 people waiting to see a psychiatrist and that many of these have been waiting more than five years for an appointment.  Furthermore, many patients have been referred to health professionals located outside of Madeira, due to the lack of locally based specialised staff, and that the majority of those referred have been unable to afford to travel for treatment, and that this in itself is unacceptable.

Paulo Alves, went on to say that the problem has been acerbated by the pandemic as the number of people suffering from mental health problems has increased exponentially, and how can the health service hope to help these people if it can’t help those who have already been on the waiting list for five years? Moreover, those who do manage to receive treatment receive no follow-up appointments leaving both sufferers and families feeling completely helpless.

Samantha Gannon

info at madeira-weekly.com

Samantha Gannon

info at madeira-weekly.com

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