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One Psychiatrist for 10,000 Patients: Is that a Fair Bargain?

Author: Hamna Bano
One psychiatrist for
With an increasing number of mental health cases there is only 1 psychiatrist available against 10,000 cases in Pakistan.

A Seminar conducted in Sukkur on Wednesday 30th March, 2022 revealed the total number of patients suffering from mental disorders in Pakistan. It was disclosed that a total of 970 million people are suffering from substantial to serious mental disorders. This includes 284 million anxiety disorder cases, 264 million depression, 46  million bipolar disorder cases, 20 million schizophrenia, and 178 drug stress cases.

“In Pakistan 10 to 16 percent of the total population that aggregates more than 14 million people have been suffering from mild to moderate psychiatric illness, and majority of them are women”, said the Vice-Chancellor Liaquat University for Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro Ikramuddin Ujjan while addressing the seminar.

“While the province-wise prevalence is as, Balochistan with 40 percent, Sindh with 16 percent, Punjab with 8 percent, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with 5 percent. Meanwhile, only one psychiatrist or mental health professional for every 10,000 patients in Pakistan is available, and only one child psychiatrist for four million children”, he added.

 

It was strongly urged by Prof. Dr. Ikram Ujjan to provide treatment to the patients in order to prevent the societies from increasing cases of mental disorders in the country. It was also recommended to provide proper student counseling and make it mandatory for the mental health of the students.

He further stated that “the current statistics of 2021-22 about mental health disorder globally conducted by international agencies said that 1 in 5 adults live with mental illness, 1 in 25 adults live in serious mental illness globally. He said 50 percent of chronic mental illness started before 14 years of age and 75 percent of chronic mental illness started by age of 24.”

It was also disclosed by the experts that more than 10 million people have more than one mental disorder. And all these people are over the age of 18.