Govt urged to work closely with private psychiatrists - RTHK
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Govt urged to work closely with private psychiatrists

2023-06-10 HKT 11:55
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  • Govt urged to work closely with private psychiatrists
A paediatrician and a community group representative on Saturday called on the government to work more closely with the private sector on supporting psychiatric patients, following a fatal mall attack that has sparked concerns for mental health.

Their comments came a day after officials unveiled a series of measures after meeting with the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, such as setting targets for waiting times, and looking into prescribing new drugs with fewer side effects.

Patrick Ip, who's a committee member, said while the move is welcome, stronger ties are needed between the public and private sectors.

"This is a very positive direction which is encouraging, but it also actually laid down a milestone that signifies the importance of supporting mental health well-being of our population in the coming years," he said.

"The existing service - in particular related to mental health services - obviously still needs to be further enhanced. But in the coming months to years, one of the tasks is trying to enhance the involvement of private psychiatric service, in order to support more stable mental health illness patients."

Speaking on the same radio programme, Sze Lai-shan from the Society for Community Organisation said the authorities should also beef up support for grassroots families and ethnic minorities.

"They need support for children and themselves when learning the Chinese language, because most of them find it hard to follow up with the learning of Chinese," she told reporters.

"The other is the support of childcare," she said, noting that this was particularly difficult with large families.

Sze said solo parents were also vulnerable.

"Especially for single parents, there's actually much pressure from their family. And also when they're fighting for custody, many of them will feel pressure not only from their family but even the community."

Govt urged to work closely with private psychiatrists