New data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), highlight significant variation in the availability of psychiatric beds across countries in Europe.
The data show that in 2017, there were 69 hospital beds for psychiatric care per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU, equivalent to 14 per cent of all hospital beds. The figure represents a decrease in the rate of hospital beds for psychiatric care compared with 2007 when there were 76 hospital beds for psychiatric care per 100,000 inhabitants (9% decrease).
Belgium had the highest rate of psychiatric beds across the EU, with 136 beds per 100,000 inhabitants. This was followed by Germany with 128 beds, Latvia with 125 beds and Malta with 114 beds per 100,000 people.
Italy had the lowest rate in the EU, with nine psychiatric care beds per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Cyprus with 21 beds, Ireland with 34 beds and Spain with 36 beds.
The data were released to coincide with World Mental Health Day last week. The focus of this year’s event was suicide prevention with latest figures showing that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds.