According to a Chinese newspaper published on July 11, a significant number of mentally ill patients are being confined to their homes in chains or being kept in metal cages rather than receiving appropriate treatment. In the province of Hebei alone, the number of patients being detained in this way is estimated to be 100,000.

It is reported that a shortage of psychiatrists and hospitals, combined with patients from the lower classes being unable to afford the costs of treatment, is behind this bizarre state of affairs. The population of the Hebei province totals in at 72.4 million.

According to China’s Center for the Control and Prevention of Disease, there were over 16 million recorded patients suffering from severe mental illnesses in 2009. Of this figure, 10 percent showed a strong tendency for violence. Even more startling is that the majority of suffers are thought to have remained untreated, confined to their homes instead.

While the number of sufferers detained in their homes is quite remarkable, the actual number of qualified psychiatrists to treat mentally ill patients totals in at just 2 million. This means that there’s about one psychiatrist for every 800 sufferers. Across China, the total number of those who are severely mentally ill and receiving care is just 12 percent.

Clearly something needs to be done to make it easier for anyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, to be able to seek help when they need it. We here at RocketNews24 sincerely hope that the situation improves soon.

Source: Sankei News