Bush psychiatric services

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Abstract

This is a description of the psychiatric services at present provided to the Far West Region of New South Wales. On account of the isolation of the region, and noting that the area probably has a higher than normal rate of psychiatric and psycho-social morbidity, there are special problems involved in the provision of comprehensive treatment services. I am the only resident psychiatrist within the region, and work as both a Visiting Medical Officer to the Broken Hill Base Hospital, to Wilcannia Hospital, and to the Prison Medical Service, as well as half time in private practice. The Mental Health Services to the area are at present being considerably expanded, and in this paper their structure and function will be described, and the special problems of providing a comprehensive service to an isolated area of the bush will be discussed. The inequity of service allocation to the region will be highlighted. It is noted that the region's total share of the financial mental health cake has dropped by about 40% in the last ten years as a result of the setting up of local community services and dramatically reduced in-patient hospitalisation costs in Sydney and Adelaide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume26
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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