By law, mental health care for children and young people should be available within six weeks of the referral.
Parliamentary the Ombudsman has given note To the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (Hus), because the young person’s access to treatment took an unreasonably long time, more than a year and a half.
At the same time, the Ombudsman urges the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to take action. The Ombudsman considers that Hus has failed to fulfill his legal obligations.
The news first Evening paper.
Case began in February 2019, when the young person received a referral to a trans-outpatient clinic, officially called the Gender Identity Research Outpatient Clinic. The adolescent was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depression and Asperger’s syndrome. The symptoms of depression and anxiety had persisted for a long time.
The young person was admitted to a consultation at the Gender Identity Research Clinic in November 2020, after a year and eight months of waiting.
Based on the visit to Hus, it was assessed that the outpatient examination was not timely.
According to Hus, the young man’s development had progressed in alarmingly isolated conditions. For example, the young man did not have sufficient friendships. The search for one’s own identity had been flawed, and the young man had not identified with his peers. There had also been problems with schooling.
“The statutory maximum time limits for access to care have been substantially exceeded.”
Husissa psychiatric and vocational training was recommended for the young person. In the future, she would get a new referral to the Adult Gender Identity Outpatient Clinic. According to the patient record, “the papers were closed”.
According to Hus, director of psychiatry, the number of patients had grown rapidly, to which they had not been able to react quickly enough. Gender identity referrals had multiplied.
By the 2010s, referral numbers for Hus adolescent psychiatry had increased by 46 percent in large municipalities.
Health Care Act according to the specialist assessment and other necessary examinations for child and adolescent mental health services must be carried out within six weeks of the arrival of the referral. In other cases, the corresponding maximum period is three months.
“The statutory maximum time limits for access to care have thus been substantially exceeded,” says the Deputy Ombudsman. Maija Sakslin in their solution.
He considers that the young person’s right to adequate health care guaranteed by the Constitution and to good quality health care and medical care as required by the Patient Act has not been realized.