Shorter wait for patients to see a psychiatrist in Hong Kong

Posted on October 20, 2015

Mental health patients in moderate condition now need to spend less time waiting to see a visiting public psychiatrist, the Hospital Authority says.

The Common Mental Health Clinic pilot scheme launched in July is making progress and waiting time has been cut by as much as five weeks. A severe shortage of psychiatrists had led to long waiting times that could affect patients' recovery.

By the end of last year there were 47,958 people on the waiting list.

Their queuing time is scheduled under a triage system, in which urgent cases are scheduled appointments within a week, while half-urgent cases wait from an average of three to seven weeks.

But stable, new patients on average wait between 24 and 143 weeks, depending on the hospital cluster.

To shorten their queuing time, the authority last July launched a pilot clinic at Kowloon West cluster's Kwai Chung Hospital for adult patients suffering from moderate, stress-related mental health problems, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety and adjustment disorders.

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from The Standard