In Ontario, a Battle for the Soul of Psychiatry

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From The Globe and Mail: “If the Ontario Ministry of Health has its way, the type of intensive psychotherapy Mr. A. has been receiving will end. A proposal the ministry made in January would radically limit psychotherapy provided by psychiatrists and family physicians. The ministry’s proposed new approach, modelled on U.S.-style, managed care, is designed to limit the type and amount of treatment individual patients will receive, regardless of their presenting symptoms. The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) opposes it, and both groups are meeting about it now.

The plan, which is described by its advocates as ‘radical,’ is designed to eventually get psychiatrists out of providing continuing care to patients altogether. If it goes through, it will be the biggest change in psychiatry in the history of the discipline in Canada, and turn psychiatrists from ‘treaters’ into ‘consultants’ who will diagnose patients in a single session, and make recommendations for others to follow, then wave goodbye.

Diagnose, and adios.”

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