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Mapping mental health finances in Ghana, Uganda, Sri Lanka, India and Lao PDR

Raja, Shoba, Wood, Sarah K., de Menil, Victoria and Mannarath, Saju C. (2010) Mapping mental health finances in Ghana, Uganda, Sri Lanka, India and Lao PDR. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 4 (11). ISSN 1752-4458

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Abstract

Background Limited evidence about mental health finances in low and middle-income countries is a key challenge to mental health care policy initiatives. This study aimed to map mental health finances in Ghana, Uganda, India (Kerala state), Sri Lanka and Lao PDR focusing on how much money is available for mental health, how it is spent, and how this impacts mental health services. Methods A researcher in each region reviewed public mental health-related budgets and interviewed key informants on government mental health financing. A total of 43 key informant interviews were conducted. Quantitative data was analyzed in an excel matrix using descriptive statistics. Key informant interviews were coded a priori against research questions. Results National ring-fenced budgets for mental health as a percentage of national health spending for 2007-08 is 1.7% in Sri Lanka, 3.7% in Ghana, 2.0% in Kerala (India) and 6.6% in Uganda. Budgets were not available in Lao PDR. The majority of ring-fenced budgets (76% to 100%) is spent on psychiatric hospitals. Mental health spending could not be tracked beyond the psychiatric hospital level due to limited information at the health centre and community levels. Conclusions Mental health budget information should be tracked and made publically accessible. Governments can adapt WHO AIMS indicators for reviewing national mental health finances. Funding allocations work more effectively through decentralization. Mental health financing should reflect new ideas emerging from community based practice in LMICs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-4458-4-11
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU)
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2012 15:10
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/45277/

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