Proposed state laws may alleviate SF’s shortage of psychiatrists, ‘step down’ beds for behavioral health clients

By Laura Waxman : sfexaminer – excerpt

A statewide shortage of psychiatrists is affecting San Francisco’s psychiatric services

Two state bills could help San Francisco address major gaps in care for its public behavioral health clients, including more than a dozen psychiatrist vacancies and capacity issues in regard to treatment beds.

Assembly Bill 565 would broaden the pool of aspiring community psychiatrists eligible for debt relief to address a growing national psychiatrist shortage that has left one of four psychiatrist positions chronically vacant statewide. Assembly Bill 682 requires the state health department to apply for funds to create a real-time psychiatric bed registry.

Both bills are sponsored by the California Psychiatrist Association (CPA) and were voted out of the Assembly Health Committee last month. Supporters say that they could offer some relief locally, where retention and recruitment of qualified psychiatrists as well as a shortage of “step down” care beds are an issue… (more)

Fixing San Francisco’s behavioral health system is complicated — here’s why.

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