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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2006): Mental health services - overseas

Economic barriers to better mental health practice and policy

M. Knapp and others

Health Policy and Planning, vol.21, 2006, p.157-170

Mental health services in many countries are under-resourced and underdeveloped, but mental health problems not only adversely affect people’s quality of life but also reinforce poverty at the national and individual level. This article identifies the most common barriers to improved mental health services in low- and middle-income countries. These include: lack of relevant research evidence, insufficiency of resources, concentration of services in large institutions in urban areas, and inflexible, bureaucratic and centralised systems.

Financing mental health services in low- and middle-income countries

A. Dixon and others

Health Policy and Planning, vol.21, 2006, p.171-182

Provision of mental health services is a low priority in many low- and middle-income countries. Reliance on out-of-pocket payments by service users in these countries remains high. In some countries there is no public budget for mental health care at all. This paper examines the impact of financing arrangements on the efficient and equitable utilisation of mental health services, covering out-of-pocket payments, private health insurance, social health insurance and taxation.

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