Waiting lists for psychiatric treatment becoming longer and longer

Patients may not be getting the treatment that they need because they just can’t cope with the waiting time

On average, at the moment you will have to wait more than ten weeks if you need to make an appointment to see a psychologist through the publicly-funded health system.

The waiting time has more than doubled since 2012, reports DR Nyheder.

“It is worrying because the waiting period can exacerbate the patient’s condition,” said Eva Secher Mathiasen, the chair of the Danish psychological association.

More referrals, longer waits
Since 2012 it has been possible for 18 to 38-year-olds to receive funds to cover 60 percent of the cost of psychological treatment if they suffer from depression or anxiety. This has led to an increasing number of referrals from doctors, but also to longer waiting times.

The association also thinks the figures are higher than they appear.

“People know there are long waiting times, and it is our impression that some people who ought to have psychological treatment are not requesting it because they know they will be put on a waiting list,” said Mathiasen.

There is also the question as to whether the amount of money set aside by the state is adequate.

The government is at present looking into the problem and intends to evaluate the way state funding is allocated in the autumn.

Trine Torp, SF’s psychiatry spokesperson, is also worried about the long waiting time but she wants to see more funding for this area.

“It’s a question of kroner and øre. There’s no shortage of psychologists; it’s a question of how many psychologists can be afforded under the scheme,” she said.