Macau (MNA) – The director of Sao Januario Hospital’s psychology department, Tang Kwong Yui, said on Tuesday that the future of Macau’s mental health will suffer in the long term if skilled psychiatrists are not brought into the workforce.
Dr. Tang made the comments during a press conference held today, as the psychologist was awarded an MSAR Medal for Dedication.
“In Macau we [have] a shortage of manpower, especially in the field of psychiatry. There’s a [large] number of tourists coming [to Macau] every year, so we deal with a large number of patients actually, but there exists no extra manpower [that] we can use,” Dr. Tang said.
Dr. Tang admitted that the government does face a challenge in bringing more experienced psychiatric doctors into Macau but with the lack of skilled medical professionals, an estimated four doctors have to manage 10,000 patients.
Since the beginning of his tenure at the hospital in 2012, Dr. Tang has attempted to cope with the manpower shortage by personally inviting 10 qualified psychiatric doctors from Taiwan to Macau where they have been successfully working at the hospital ever since.
Despite the lack of human resources, Dr. Tang is optimistic about the future of Macau’s mental health.
“It’s never to late to take action any time. So I just raised some proposals that we can include or invite more experienced physicians [to] come here. If we can change some of the laws [to make it] more flexible [to include] them into Macau,” said Dr. Tang.
The doctor also added that the stigma of mental health in Macau is still prevalent, but to help cope with that, two health care teams go out into the community to offer their help and services.
*Written by Emily Pottier