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Up to 150,000 Czech children need psychiatric care, say experts

There are only about 120 specialists for children, due to which the children have to wait two or even six months for an examination

Prague, Sept 29 (CTK) – Up to 150,000 Czech children need psychiatrist care or a clinical psychologist, experts from the child and teen section of the Psychiatric Society of Czech Jan Evangelista Purkyne Doctors’s Society have told journalists.

There are only about 120 specialists for children, due to which the children have to wait two or even six months for an examination, the experts said.

“If a detailed look is taken, it turns out within reform of psychiatric care in the Czech Republic how much this problem is neglected,” the chairman of the section, Jaroslav Matys, said.

The network of child psychiatry is all but nonexistent and must be created. Changes must occur not only in the sphere of health care, but also in the educational and social care since they contribute to the care for child psychiatry patients, Matys said.

Over 3.5 billion crowns have come for the launch of the reform of psychiatric care from European funds.

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The next programming period will focus on the care for children. There will be also sponsoring from the European Economic Space and Norway funds, to which also Iceland and Liechtenstein contribute.

One of the targets of the reform is to have up to 200 child psychiatrists, roughly two per every district, Matys said.

In some regions there are not any now already. “This depends on the region. In Prague, the waiting time is around two months,” Ivo Paclt, from the Psychiatric Clinic of the First Teaching Faculty of Charles University, said.

Acute care is only available in regional hospitals.

“The number of patients is growing since the number of stress factors is growing as well,” Paclt said.

Roughly 1 percent of children suffer from such diseases as child and teenage schizophrenia, Paclt said.

Depression occurs among 2 percent of children before they reach their teens and then the proportion rises up to 5-6 percent, he added.

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($1 = 23.636 crowns)

pvr/dr

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