By Christopher Baker

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — On Monday, doctors gathered at the State Capitol for a rally to call for changes to the mental health system.

Rally attendees said that psychiatric doctors can’t spend enough time with patients at state mental hospitals and prisons because they are understaffed.

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At yesterday’s rally, Dr. Stuart Bussey of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists had this to say: “With a 50% vacancy rate, there is less available for treatment, episodic care, delayed care. And when people aren’t properly treated they go out into the community and become homeless, violent, and land back in prison.”

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Dr. Bussey says that many doctors don’t want to work in the state system because of low salaries and poor working conditions.

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Unionized doctors want the state to stop hiring temporary doctors to fill the gap. The union says that those contracted doctors get paid twice as civil service doctors. They believe that the money could be better spent on hiring permanent doctors.