CA mental hospital has shortage of psychiatrists

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A state prison hospital on California’s central coast is admitting fewer patients because of a shortage of psychiatrists.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports Atascadero State Hospital has closed one of its special units because there now about 22 psychiatrists on staff compared to nearly 33 in September 2012.

Atascadero is one of five state facilities that houses mentally ill and disordered convicts who have been committed to psychiatric facilities by California’s courts. The maximum-security facility has 1,275 beds, and also houses those who are mentally incompetent to stand trial and those found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Staffing shortages at Atascadero have occurred before due to several factors, including the facility’s location and higher salaries paid elsewhere.

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