Two of the three doctors on the staff of Davis County Mental Health have been called up to serve in units deployed to Operation Desert Shield, leaving the county agency in a difficult position, said Dr. Russell Williams, director.
Williams said arrangements have been made to cover the duties of the doctors, and contracts have been signed with private-practice physicians to help cover the shortage.But those contracts mean the agency could be back later in the year for additional money, Williams warned.
State law requires that a person being considered for involuntary commitment to an institution be examined and certified by at least two doctors.
And neither one of those can be the doctor that makes the initial referral to the courts, Williams said.
So with only one doctor on the agency's staff, all involuntary commitments will have to be referred to outside, private doctors, Williams said.
Some of the money for those referrals can be transferred from other portions of his budget, Williams said, but he may have to ask for a special appropriation of $2,000 to $2,500 if the number of commitments in 1991 is the same as last year.
Williams said demand for mental-health services usually declines right before the Christmas season but the post-Christmas period is traditionally the busiest for his agency.