Has the sectorization of psychiatric services in France really been effective
This paper describes the implementation of the French sectorization policy during the last 20 years, and how effectively it has delivered care to patients suffering from severe mental health disorders. This change in policy has resulted in a dramatic and progressive decline in full-time hospitalization and an increase in outpatient care, without, however, any marked increase in the readmissions rate. The resources and services provided by a representative section are described, followed by an account of a plan for closing psychiatric beds in a specific area of the centre of France. The full implementation of the policy has some distance to go, but the graded way in which it was carried out seems generally to have protected patients from adverse consequences. However, there has been little formal evaluation, and more is required before the policy can be deemed to have been successful.
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