The financing of somatic specialities has been increased by 10 % during the last decade in Denmark, while the financing of mental health has only been increased by 2 %, this despite the fact that the need for psychiatric treatment has not decreased, and that the treatment costs are more expensive. Moreover 10 % of the money given to psychiatry is time limited cause specific grants - not to be used in general psychiatry. These kinds of allocations include more administrative demands and are not part of a systematic national plan.
Maybe there is a light ahead, since the Danish Psychiatric Association has been adviced by an expert in lobbying. He has told us to get four items straight, to get acceptance of these items in the”inner lines”, and then to mention them – again and again - in any contact with the public, the politicians or the decision makers.
The four items are:
- The treatment is effective
- Agreement about "what works for whom"
- The professionals and the patient associations are cooperating
- Charismatic figures are standing in front
The society has consequently tried to change its strategy. We are highlighting the good results we can achieve, the psychodynamic thinking, members try not to disagree in public with the neurobiologist and vice versa, we involve ourselves more with the patient associations, and the prominent characters in Danish psychiatry are being pushed forward. Maybe next year we can boast about better general grants to psychiatry in Denmark.
Board member, Danish Psychiatric Association