This study shows differences in the demand for and supply of psychiatrists in hospitals and private clinics; it also highlights the transformation from hospital-based to community-based mental healthcare in Taiwan. Our findings show that, although Taiwan had a balanced supply and demand of psychiatrists before 2020, the supply in clinics is projected to fall 19.2% lower than the demand by 2030, while the supply and demand would still be balanced in hospitals by then. However, increasing psychiatrists’ average work hours would decrease demands for additional workforce, with an increase of five hours per week postponing the projected start of workforce shortage from 2020 to 2025. The rapid growth of psychiatrists in clinics over the past ten years and the estimated shortage in 2030 parallel the doubled prevalence of common mental disorders (i.e., anxiety and depression). The substantial growth of outpatient visits in both hospitals and clinics supports that an increasing proportion of patients with severe mental disorders are being treated as outpatients. However, the historical rate of 6.2 Taiwanese psychiatrists per 100,000 population in 2019 and the estimated rate of 7.2 per 100,000 in 2030 were less than half of the average of 16.8 among countries in the organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas