July 3 (CTK) – The Regional Development Ministry will offer 425 million crowns in European subsidies in the next three years for projects making psychiatric treatment more available and improving its quality in the Czech Republic, the ministry’s spokeswoman Veronika Varosi told CTK today.

“We did not pay enough attention to the provision of psychiatric treatment in the Czech Republic in the past,” Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova said.

The EU subsidies from the Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP) are to be used for the building of new and reconstruction of old mental health centres, in which community care is provided, outpatient clinics and offices providing psychological and psychotherapeutic care as well as for support for mobile community teams.

Projects that would be completed before the end of 2021 may apply for a subsidy of up to 40 million crowns.

Up to half a million people in the Czech Republic, with 10.5 million inhabitants, suffer from a serious psychiatric disease. One third of the population was treated for mental problems.

Psychiatric and behavioral disorders are the second most common reason why people are granted a disability pension in the country.

Within a reform of psychiatric treatment, patients should be moved from stays in psychiatric clinics to care in mental health centres. The IROP is to contribute to this change. Mental health centres are to provide something in between hospital and outpatient treatment. About 30 such centres, employing teams of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurses and social workers, are to be established by 2022.

Health Minister Miloslav Ludvik said earlier this year the country is to have a network of about 100 mental health centres in 20 years.

($1=22.952 crowns)

kva/dr/ms

Title picture: Pixabay

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