Expert: The psychiatric health offer for the sickest patients in Norway is not good enough

Randi RosenqvistPhoto: Lise Åserud / NTB

For years, forensic psychiatrist Randi Rosenqvist has believed that the quality of the psychiatric health service in Norway is not good enough. 

“For several years, there has been pressure calling for the least possible amount of coercion in psychiatry, and the quality of a hospital is measured on how few people are forcibly admitted or how short the patients stay in the hospital. I think these are completely wrong parameters to measure the quality of psychiatry,” Rosenqvist told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Rosenqvist was a forensic psychiatric expert when the 33-year-old, who was shot and killed by the police on Tuesday at Bislett in Oslo, was sentenced to compulsory mental health care last year. The man was on leave when he carried out the Bislett knife attack on Tuesday. 

In the aftermath of the incident, Rosenqvist criticized the developments in Norwegian psychiatry.

Deteriorating quality

“The quality of psychiatry has deteriorated when it comes to those who function the worst,” Rosenqvist told NRK.

During the trial in December last year, the man said that he did not remember any of the incidents. He said that he had struggled with major mental illnesses in the weeks before the incidents. He was also under the influence of alcohol and cocaine during one incident.

The experts concluded that the man was psychotic at the time of the crime. The court agreed and sentenced him to compulsory mental health care.

“The second issue is that we have had a systematic reduction of beds so that today we have a third of the beds we had 30 years ago in mental health care,” the psychiatrist noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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