Even Doctors Have Trouble Accessing Mental Health Care for Patients
Beyond Parity: Primary Care Physicians’ Perspectives On Access to Mental Health Care, an article featured in health policy journal Health Affairs, explores accessing mental health care from a different point of view. According to Peter Cunningham, a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change, found that in 2004-2005, more than 60% of primary care physicians were unable to obtain out-patient services for their patients seeking mental health care, a rate that is twice as high as barriers to other health related services. The report concludes that since the 1990’s, a little over 30% of patients in need of mental health care actually receive it. Among those providers that reported difficulty in accessing mental health care for patients were pediatricians. Problems also stemmed from the fact that there are shortages of mental health providers in the community.