The author believes that the first level of psychiatric care in the
U.S.S.R.--the general polyclinics (outpatient clinics) and the medical-
sanitary units--have not been adequately studied. He describes this level
of care, which is considered useful and progressive in that the clinics are
supposed to make psychiatric care available to the population, lighten the
load placed on psychiatric facilities, and improve follow-up therapy.
However, he also points out the shortcomings in this first level of
psychiatric care in the U.S.S.R., including the bureaucratic nature of the
system and the uneven quality of service the clinics render to various
social groups in urban and rural areas.