A change of regulation from the 1st of January this year means that everyone over the age of 18 has to payfor psychiatric services.Health workers believe it is very unfortunate.
County council leader in Vestfold, Lise Kathrine Holm, is among those who have reacted strongly to the matter.
She believes that health minister, Bent Høie of Høyre (H), with the introduction of the fee requirement, has made it much more difficult for young people to seek help for substance abuse problems and mental disorders.
“The Minister of Health has chosen to raise the threshold so much that we will no longer reach the most vulnerable youngsters. If you are 19 years old, and struggle with depressive thoughts, and anxiety,and have started smoking cannabis to curb the issues, will you spend 345 kroner talking to a therapist for 45 minutes?” asked Holm.
Until the 1st of January, everyone under the age of 30 who sought help in the Psychiatric Youth Team or at Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics (BUP) was exempt from payment. However, the introduction of a new effort-based financing system for health enterprises meant the feature disappeared.
Holm, who is also the main representative at the hospital in Vestfold, said the FO has made the Directorate-General aware of this matter.
“But they say they will not do anything about this, and that it is up to the health companies themselves,” Holm told NTB news.
“We have tried to protest against the introduction of deductibles to hospital management, but it was rejected, as this was decided at the highest level,” she said.
FO in Vestfold have now sent a message of concern about the matter to the Vestfold bench in parliament.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) has repeatedly stated that she will strengthen drug dependency and psychiatric care services. The introduction of payment is to go straight into force, said Holm.
“This will have a number of consequences. It will become much harder to maintain a low-threshold offer”, she said.
Holm pointed out that youths often have a poorer economy than adults, and that many with problems are ambivalent about seeking help, and that young people may have bad relationships with their parents, and do not want to know about treatment. Thus, they can’t ask for money for this”, she said.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today