Reform in mental health services - From whence and to where

Eitan Haver, Mordechai Shani, Moshe Kotler, Dov Fast, Avner Elizur, Yehuda Baruch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

For years the subject of mental health has been neglected in Israel, and reform of mental health services is now of paramount importance. Psychiatric medicine has altered considerably over the years, and emphasis is shifting from treatment in mental health institutions to treatment at the community level. This transition is the result of the awakening of groups in our society advocating civil rights for the mentally ill and their integration into the community. This process is also bolstered by the advent of new anti-psychotic drugs. However, the social and medical infrastructure set up to deal with these issues has been found lacking. Over the past few years the Minister of Health has appointed a number of committees to address this issue, and they have all recommended extensive reform of mental health services in Israel. The recommendations handed down by the committees are for: (1) Restructure of mental health services, with emphasis on community services and gradual reduction of psychiatric beds (2) Allocation of additional funding specifically earmarked for the mentally challenged, enabling transfer of stabilized patients out of the hospital setting and often lengthy and unnecessary hospitalization, into community rehabilitation centers (3) Transfer of responsibility for health insurance for mentally ill people from the State to the Health Funds, enabling integration of psychiatric treatment into the general treatment framework. The reform has already been initiated. This body of work will review the stages, processes and the difficulties that preceded the reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-331
Number of pages5
JournalHarefuah
Volume144
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hospitalization
  • Mental health services
  • Mentally ill
  • Psychiatry
  • Reform

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