The undersigned BU 16 psychiatrists of DSH and CDCR take immense pride in providing psychiatric care to the most severely ill patients in the nation’s largest forensic population.
We are frustrated by the inaction of our respective Departments to effectively recruit and retain state-employed psychiatrists at our facilities. By paying us below market rate and paying privately contracted psychiatrists double our wages, DSH and CDCR have caused a mass exodus of psychiatrist employees and a huge vacancy rate of 50%, an all-time low in morale, expected continued loss of psychiatrists to the more competitive job market, and negative impacts on patient continuity of care. The current Recruitment and Retention Report jointly researched and written by the UAPD and the State was disregarded for seven months by the State before finally being released.
We now demand that the State follow this report’s specific recommendations to improve the recruitment and retention of state-employed psychiatrists. This includes the immediate convening of an oversight hearing into the hiring and spending practices of DSH and CDCR and passage of SB 422, the physician registry.