Psychiatry and society


Sir, – Dr Ciaran Crummey (Opinion Analysis, August 30th) provides a highly critical analysis of Irish psychiatry and especially of Irish psychiatrists.

The article points to the scientific nature of cardiology and neurology in contrast to psychiatry. It is certainly true that patients with cancer, heart disease or other non-psychiatric conditions in general do not write critical articles about their clinicians. Does this mean that such clinicians are more caring and competent than psychiatrists?

The fact is that psychiatrists treat a broad range of mental health issues, including many patients with persecutory delusions. Is it likely that a patient with a paranoid disorder will think highly of the mental health services?

It is imperative that Irish psychiatrists operate to the highest evidence-based international standards. The bizarre views expressed by Dr Crummey can do nothing but damage the interests of patients with mental health problems. – Yours,


Department of Psychiatry,

University College Cork.