February 27, 2006

Psychiatrist Shortage in Alberta, Canada

The Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta) reported this week that rural Alberta (Canada) is suffering from a serious shortage of psychiatry professionals.

Peace Country Health has failed its mental health patients because it hasn't recruited more psychiatrists, says a mother whose daughter suffers from schizophrenia.

"I'm really angry they've allowed this to happen," said the woman who didn't want to be named to protect her daughter.

"Where the heck have they been all this time? They've obviously known there's a shortage. They obviously know there's a problem. If they're actively recruiting, how did it get to where we are now?"

This time last year there were six psychiatrists serving the entire region. As of today, there are only one and half. The daughter's psychiatrist, Dr. Lorne Smit, is leaving the region.

"This isn't just about my kid," she said, adding more attention needs to be brought to the crisis.

Her daughter, who is her 30s, was diagnosed with late-onset schizophrenia three years ago. The family had a close relationship with Dr. Smit, sometimes even consulting him every day.

"He was always there," she said.

She was told her daughter would have difficulty getting a new psychiatrist and she's worried about her daughter's care.


I am not a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with schizophtenia 19 years ago. Since then it was added that I am actually schizoaffective. I would more then happy to advocate for you dilemma.

Posted by: Donna at April 5, 2006 01:30 AM

I am a qualified psychiatrist looking for a job in alberta

Posted by: dr arjun arya at October 25, 2006 08:41 PM

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