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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

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SFMMS Pushes for Immediate Action on Behavioral Health Access

This week, SFMMS Director of Advocacy and Policy Adam Francis, testified at a hearing on the status of San Francisco’s Residential Treatment beds. The hearing was called by Supervisors Mandelman and Ronen to get a better sense of how much progress has been made to increase access for patients facing moderate to severe mental health issues.

Unfortunately, the data show San Francisco remains far behind the goal of readily available treatment, and hasn’t made much progress in recent years. “These are really human lives we are talking about. It’s not just numbers of beds,” said Mr. Francis. “When they fall through the cracks it’s devastating on the individual level. It is also soul-crushing for the providers who are taking care of them – they are spending hours, weeks, days, months trying to find places for these patients to be.”

Mr. Francis called for implementing SFMMS’s health care workforce incentive program, which would include loan repayment for physicians taking care of this population. “We can make a difference immediately on the 15-20 percent of beds that aren’t being staffed. Those are beds that we could be using right now if we had the workforce to do that.”


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