New mental health law to go before parliament on Thursday

Maximum response time exceeded for 1 in 3 psychiatric consultations

More than one in three psychiatric hospital consultations in Portugal in the first half of this year exceeded the maximum guaranteed response times, according to data from the country’s Health Regulatory Authority (ERS) released today. According to an ERS study based on a survey of all SNS national health hospitals between June and August 2023, 39% of psychiatric hospital consultations exceeded the times set by law. ERS recalls that the growing demand for mental health care, which rose sharply after the Covid-19 pandemic, “has led national and supranational authorities in Europe to recognise the need to devote special attention to this area” of healthcare and says that this trend “has justified close monitoring” by the regulator of the evolution of access to mental health care in Portugal.