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Mental health by the numbers

So much of health care, and mental health care is no exception, is about numbers. Numbers of patients. Wait times. Expenditures. Here are a few of the numbers about mental health care in Nova Scotia and PEI.

Money matters

2016-17 budget for community-based counseling and outpatient programs in Prince Edward Island: $10.8 million

Budget for mental health at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown in 2016-17: $3.8 million

Investigative Feature

At the Prince County Hospital: $2 million

At the Hillsborough Hospital: $12.6 million

Amount of Hillsborough budget spent on nursing/inpatient care: $7.9 million

Amount spent on property maintenance: $961,964

Total billed in 2015-2016 to PEI health insurance by general practitioners (fee for service only), for mental health related services: $794,271

By psychiatrists: $2.8 million

Amount of that billed by psychotherapists that was for psychotherapy: $2.2 million

Amount of that for electroconvulsive therapy: $9,900

Amount billed by Nova Scotia general practitioners to the provincial medical services insurance plan for mental health services, in 2015-16: $18.7 million*

By pediatricians: $2.5 million*

By psychiatrists: $42 million

The recommended hourly fee for psychologists in private practice in Nova Scotia: $170

Visits to emergency for mental health

Total number of emergency department visits in the Eastern zone (including Antigonish and Cape Breton) of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, 2012-2016, with mental health as the presenting complaint: 10,303**

In the western zone (Annapolis Valley, South Shore, Yarmouth): 11,622**

In the northern zone (Colchester, Cumberland, Pictou): 9,196**

In the central zone (Halifax and West Hants): 22,114**

Total visits: 53,235

Number of those who were treated and released: 43,034

Number of those admitted to a hospital bed from the emergency dept: 10,201

Percentage of emergency department visits (for which the presenting complaint was recorded) that were for mental health concerns, 2012-2016, Halifax Infirmary site QEII: 5

At the Cape Breton Regional Hospital: 5

Other hospitals in Nova Scotia: 1 to 3 per cent

Number of visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown for mental health reasons, in 2012: 2,511

Number of those admitted: 727 (29%)

In 2016: 2,258 visits and 564 admitted (25%).

At the Kings County Memorial Hospital:

2012: 813 visits and 21 admitted. (2.6 %)

2016: 371 visits and 44 admitted. (11.9%)

At the Prince County Hospital:

2012: 879 visits, 209 admitted. (24%)

2016: 840 visits, 242 admitted. (29%)

At the Western Hospital:

2012: 741 visits, 31 admitted (4.2 %)

2016: 224 visits, 17 admitted (7.6%)

Wait times

Time it took to serve 90 per cent of adults triaged as urgent to see a community mental health psychiatrist, in the third quarter of 2015-16, in PEI: 479 days

Semi-urgent: 301.5 days

Others: 112 days

For youth: Urgent, 107.5 days, Semi-urgent 386.5 days.

Time it took to serve 90 per cent of adults urgently waiting for adult community mental health services in PEI, in the same quarter: 40 days

Semi urgent: 175 days

Others: 165 days

For youth, urgent 45 days, semi-urgent 213 days, others 288 days.

The number of hours spent in psychiatric and general hospitals in Nova Scotia, by people who were discharged in 2014: 124,280

That number of hours expressed in years: 340

In PEI, 24,144 days or 66 years

The shortest waiting time for adult community mental health services at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital from July to September 2016: 0 days

The longest: 581 days

Time it took to serve 90 per cent of those waiting: 325 days

Shortest waiting time at the Bayer’s Road Centre in Halifax: 1 day

The longest: 220 days

90 per cent served in: 107 days

*Best estimate of Dept of Health and Wellness. Likely higher due to billings using other codes.

**Presenting complaint not recorded for 386,566 emergency department visits.

Sources: Health PEI, Nova Scotia Health Authority, N.S. Dept. of Health and Wellness, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia.