The Health Ministry recently launched a new and revised book of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for assistant medical officers in psychiatry during the ministry's 29th annual meeting of Psychiatry Experts.
The first edition of the book was introduced in 2008.
Health Deputy Director-General (Medical) Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnaduraisaid the SOP served as a guide to meet the standards of care and professionalism set by the Health Ministry.
"I also believe that this revised book will meet all of the requirements set out in the Mental Health Act 2001 and Mental Health Regulations 2010," he said.
Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnaduraisaid he hoped the new book would be used as a reference material for assistant medical officers across the country in an effort to provide quality of care to the community.
Meanwhile, Sabah Health Department Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi in her speech said the revised book played a fundamental role in continuous quality assurance for the psychiatric patients in Malaysia.
Dr Christina said according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, the prevalence of mental health problems among young adults aged between 16 and above was 29.2 %, which was approximately 4.2 million.
"Therefore, a good quality of mental health services is needed to meet patient's psychiatric needs," she said in the speech text, which was read out by Sabah Health Department Chief Deputy Director Dr AbdKahar Abd Asis.
Dr Christina said Sabah psychiatric service statistics in 2016 showed that a total of 30,675 outpatients had received treatment, while 1,373 patients had received inpatient treatment.
She said psychiatric treatment facilities in Sabah was experiencing a growth as almost major hospitals in the state provided treatment services.
However, Dr Christina hoped the Health Ministry would continue to send psychiatrists in Sabah to accommodate psychiatric services in the state.