PSYCHIATRY IN SCANDINAVIA
Working as a Psychiatrist in Sweden
The number of
There are still challenges facing Swedish psychiatry: reduction in waiting times for psychiatric care, broader accessibility of evidence-based treatment methods for all groups of psychiatric patients both in rural and urban
Working as a Psychiatrist in Norway
Psychiatrists’ tasks in Norway include investigation work/diagnosis, and management of psychological interventions in patients with mental disorders.
Processing occurs either at a mental hospital, the District Psychiatric Center (DPS), in the Municipal Service or privately. The trend in recent years has been to avoid institution if possible. Integration into the community has been the main objective. The Coordination Reform
Doctors, and in Norway also psychologists, are the only ones who have formal competence to examine, diagnose and treat mental disorders in humans. The Mental Health Act of 1999 gives psychiatrists and specialists in clinical psychology special rights (and duties) within the practice of psychiatry. In Norway, “mental health” is the official term for mental health services. Both psychiatrists (medical specialists) and psychologist specialists can be professionally responsible for the decision of the Norwegian psychiatric care, by the Mental Health Act.
Working as a Psychiatrist in Denmark
Denmark is currently experiencing a shortage of psychiatrists with up to 25% of specialist posts vacant, and the National Board of Health estimates that this percentage will increase until 2020.
Danish psychiatry has gone through profound changes over the past two to three decades, reducing inpatient-based treatment and increasing outpatient treatment markedly. The number of patients treated has almost doubled, and the diagnostic profile has broadened, now including a substantial number of common mental disorders, in particular depression and anxiety. Furthermore, ‘new’ diagnostic groups are represented in the treatment statistics with steeply increasing incidences, e.g. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders, especially in the outpatient part of the statistics. Over the same 30 years, the number of available beds has decreased by 60-70%; however, as the length of stay of inpatients has declined markedly, the departments are still able to treat a high number of patients. The financial budgeting of psychiatry is not increasing equivalently to the somatic
Action has been taken to increase research activity in psychiatry. This is facilitated by an increasing interest among medical students and young graduate physicians attracted by the neuropsychiatric paradigm, rapidly implemented in Danish psychiatry.