n South African Journal of Psychiatry - Psychiatry in Australia
|Article Title||Psychiatry in Australia|
|Journal||South African Journal of Psychiatry|
|Author||Robert M. Kaplan|
|Publication Date||Jul 2004|
|Pages||45 - 47|
|Keyword(s)||Australia, History and Psychiatry|
ISI Social Science
Psychiatry has been practised in Australia in one form or another since the peopling of the continent, originally with the practices of the Aboriginal shamans, and later with the psychiatric treatment necessitated by convict transportation. <br>Over most of the last half-century psychiatry has been administered by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. <br>There are over 2 000 psychiatrists in Australia, and numbers are expected to increase in future. <br>As in many other countries, there is ongoing pressure between the private and public sectors, with endemic underfunding of public and community services. <br>Despite its small number of practitioners and relative isolation from major centres, Australian psychiatry has a distinguished record in the field of research. The most famous discovery, by John Cade, was the use of lithium for treatment of mania. <br>Recently governments at state and federal level have acknowledged the effect of psychiatric illness on patients and their families. This has led to the development of programmes to improve public information and eliminate prejudice. <br>It is anticipated that the practice of psychiatry will flourish in Australia and that the country will remain a leading centre of excellence in psychiatric research and training.
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