The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) together with the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH) released the full technical report of the Evaluation of the Health System Costs of Mental Health Services and Programmes in South Africa.
Responding to some of SA’s challenges in relation to the mental health system, for the first time, this study offers a nationally representative reflection of the state of mental health spending and elucidates inefficiencies and constraints emanating from existing mental health investments in South Africa, achieving one of the highest sample sizes of any costing study conducted for mental health in LMICs.
Donela Besada, one of the co-authors on the study and a Senior Scientist at the SAMRC’s Health Systems Research Unit notes that while there are still information gaps related to the mental health system, South Africa has, over the last two decades, taken steps towards strengthening its mental health care. These include reforming the Mental Health Care Act 2002 and developing a National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013–2020.
This research endeavor was funded by the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH), University of Cape Town and involved a joint effort of the SAMRC, national and provincial Departments of Health.