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VALUE AND LIMITATIONS OF A PSYCHIATRIC DEPARTMENT IN A GENERAL HOSPITAL IN BOMBAY (INDIA)
N. S. VAHIA
Am J Psychiatry 1959;116:158-162.
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The Department of Psychiatry, K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Bombay, India.

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Abstract

1. Considering the stigma associated with mental hospitals, the psychiatric department of a general hospital is a much better place, not only for detection and treatment of early cases of psychosis, but also for various kinds of psychoneurosis.2. As a much wider variety of cases of psychiatric illnesses attended the psychiatric department of a general hospital it is a good place not only for diagnosis and treatment of these illnesses, but also for teaching purposes.3. Importance of psychiatry as an integral part of general medicine is well recognized by general medical practitioners and also by specialists in other branches of medicine; at least in the larger cities in our country. What is probably not appreciated is the need for early recognition of these cases and for treatment in the early stages to obtain better results.4. Limitations of this department were very conspicuous in this study. A greater number of trained personnel and more beds are urgently needed for both treatment and teaching purposes.5. In our country, the establishment of psychiatric departments in general hospitals with adequate staff and beds is urgently needed to serve the community more efficiently and to develop healthy attitudes towards mental illness.

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