Letter: Don’t privatize the Alaska Psychiatric Institute

The committee substitute for Senate Bill 74 proposed that money be spent “analyzing the feasibility of privatizing services delivered at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.” We could save a lot of money for the state by answering the question: Do not privatize the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

Prior to 1960, all treatment of the disabled in Alaska was privatized. It was a very dark history for the disabled. In the 1960’s, the Alaska government took more control of treating the disabled and patient rights increased. The work is still not finished.

Private psychiatric facilities have been working for decades to get their financial foot back in the door for treating the disabled. Those same private facilities operate on convenience and economics, and that philosophy is not conducive to good patient rights or patient recovery.

Our message to the Alaska House budget and finance committees is this: Save the money. Alaska should not privatize the state-run Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

Faith Myers and Dorrance Collins