Extra millions for psychiatry ‘had no effect’

An extra 700 million kronor ($104 million) of public money spent on psychiatric care over a two year period had no effect on patients, according to a new report.

The conclusions have been reached by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), which followed up on how the extra money was spent.

“The extra resources have not resolved overarching systemic problems either,” the report’s authors write in Wednesday’s Dagens Nyheter.

The authors also say that some staff lack the necessary knowledge for the job and that resources are lacking or are not used effectively.

“But above all else it is the system that is failing,” write Anders Printz, Claes-Göran Stefansson and Nina Frohm.

The trio argue that state direction of Swedish psychiatry and social services should have a longer-term perspective and be more systematic.

“Our follow-up shows that short-term state project grants can provide a temporary boost, but can never solve the overarching structural and competence problems that still exist within psychiatry,” they write.