Sabah has most mental health patients


KOTA KINABALU: Mental health issues in Sabah are the most prevalent compared to other states nationwide, making up 42.9 per cent of national figures.

Sabah Health Department Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2015 found Sabah to have the highest number of mental health illnesses.

“We hope the ministry will continue to send psychiatrists to Sabah in order to cater to the high demand for their services here due to the state’s widespread geographical landscape,” she said at the book launch of ‘Standard Operating Procedures for Assistant Medical Officers in Psychiatry’ here yesterday.

Her speech was delivered by Sabah Health Department (medical) senior chief assistant director Dr Abd Kahar Abd Asis.

According to Sabah psychiatry services statistics, 30,675 outpatient cases were recorded in 2016, alongside 1,373 inpatient cases.

This showed an increase from previous years, said Christina, in line with the progress of psychiatry services in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry (medical) deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said the publication of the book of standard operating procedures for assistant medical officers in psychiatry will provide a guideline to meet the standards of care and professionalism for patients.

Jeyaindran further said the book was a good tool to raise awareness on the importance of meeting set standards for all assistant medical officers who provide special care to psychiatry patients.

“We hope all assistant medical officers benefit from this guideline as this book aims to provide useful information for quality care of patients,” he added.