Alberta’s mental health system is in a chronic crisis and it continues to fall behind the national average, said Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason after releasing a leaked government report to reporters yesterday.
The NDP says the report, which offers recommend-ations for Alberta’s health-care system, was leaked after the government denied a Freedom of Information and Privacy request from the party.
“The government knew the mental health-care system is broken and they hid that from the public,” said Mason during a press conference.
“There is nothing in this report that should be hidden from the public.”
The report, presented to and later approved by a provincial steering committee in 2007, says Alberta has four times fewer mental health beds than the national average.
Mason says not releasing the report shows “the government ignored the recommendations to decentralize treatment.”
More than 500,000 Albertans were treated by a physician for a mental health problem in 2002 and 2003, the report said.
Close to 40 per cent of a general practice physician billings were also mental health related, said the report.