Adwan explains costly psychiatric treatment; ministry reports uptick in services

psychologist doctor
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Head of the Psychologists Association Nael Al-Adwan said that the office visit for patients with mental disorders is estimated at JD50 in the private sector because the doctor sits with a patient for a longer time than peers in other specialties in the medical field, Khaberni reported.اضافة اعلان

Adwan spoke to the backdrop of comments by Hassan Al-Sukhni, head of Al-Karama Psychiatric Hospital at the Ministry of Health, who reported that the ministry’s recent upturn in the psychiatric services reflects an improvement in the quality of its services, Al-Rai Daily reported.

Adwan, indicating that psychiatrists have little to do with pricing, said: “Everything is priced by the Jordan Medical Association.”

He said that mental illness is like any disease, which requires regular treatment.

Adwan pointed out that psychiatric treatment is free in the Ministry of Health, and the Jordanian Royal Medical Services.

He explained that there is a significant shortage in the number of psychiatrists in Jordan, like in other countries worldwide, due to the difficulty of specializing in the field, and the poor financial return for the psychiatrists, compared with other medical specialties.

He said that many people regard mental illness a defect, so the patients go to religious clerics instead, dodging medical specialists.

He asserted that mental illness is a chronic disease, and may require lifelong treatment.

Sukhni, the head of the Al-Karama Psychiatric Hospital, affirmed that the ministry’s recent upturn in the psychiatric services reflects its improved services.

He spoke at a conference held at the Dead Sea, and organized by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Jordan Media Institute (JMI) on the role of media in raising awareness on chronic diseases.

He said the ministry gives significant attention mental health, pointing to the numbers of specialized doctors and residents, and behavioral therapists, as well as 52 psychiatric clinics in the ministry’s hospitals and health centers.

Psychiatric clinics are available in all governorates of the Kingdom, which includes a psychiatrist, a therapist, and a nurse, in addition to the pharmacy containing psychiatric medications, he said. He noted that all family protection directorates have a psychiatrist available to evaluate cases, noting that there are unspecified incentives offered to anyone who visits a psychiatric clinic.

The ministry and WHO are working to integrate mental health into primary health care, so that, after receiving the necessary training, General Practitioners, and family members of a patient are able to investigate and detect cases of mental disorders, provide counseling and treatment, or refer them to psychiatric clinics closest to the centers they visit, he added.

According to Sukhni, the ministry is contemplating the integrattion of mental health and psychotherapy through public hospitals, with the aim of reducing the stigma. The aim of which is to provide easy access to these services, by opening psychiatric clinics in all government hospitals and a number of health centers.

The number of specialized psychiatrists working in the public sector is 42, while the number of residing doctors this year is 85, up from 53 in 2017, Sukhni said.

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