CPA and OPA Welcome Report on Psychiatric Supply and Practice Patterns

OTTAWA, July 15, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA), the national voice for Canada's 4,500 psychiatrists, and the Ontario Psychiatric Association (OPA), the voice of psychiatry in Ontario, welcome the release of the report by the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) entitled Universal Coverage without Universal Access: A Study of Psychiatrist Supply and Practice Patterns in Ontario.

This report reviews the supply and practice patterns of psychiatrists in Ontario with a particular focus on urban and rural differences as defined by Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

"With a focus on providing patients with access to psychiatric care, the report identifies several policy issues that require discussion and leadership from psychiatry," noted Dr. Michael Teehan, CPA President. "At the same time, the CPA fully recognizes that issues related to the organization, management, delivery and funding of mental health services are largely provincial in scope."

"As the demand for mental health services continues to increase, psychiatry is playing a significant role in the overall architecture of the mental health delivery system. This requires discussion about our clinical role, the supply and distribution of psychiatrists, and the innovative ways in which we provide care to our patients," said Dr. Gary Chaimowitz, OPA President.

The report discusses funding models and their impact on practice patterns. The CPA Economics Committee has been working with health economists and policy-makers to: (1) move beyond doctor-to-population ratios, which do not capture the complexity of patient care needed or being delivered; and (2) explore innovative funding models that facilitate psychiatrists seeing patients most in need. For example, the report does not mention that Ontario has recently implemented novel clinical care modifiers for psychiatry that encourage care of high-risk and high-needs patients. This was done through the leadership of psychiatric associations in Ontario.

"As we look to the future, we need to consider different ways in which access to mental health care can be enhanced, and the quality of care improved," said Dr. Teehan.  The CPA and the OPA look forward to contributing to the dialogue that will not only improve the delivery of mental health services, but its continued integration into the health system.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada's 4,500 psychiatrists and more than 600 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951, the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in the provision of clinical care, education and research.

SOURCE: Canadian Psychiatric Association

For further information:

Jadranka Bacic
Canadian Psychiatric Association
613-234-2815 ext. 235; 613-297-5038

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