Estimating the cost of implementing district mental healthcare plans in five low- and middle-income countries: the PRIME study

Chisholm D, Burman-Roy S, Fekadu A, Kathree T, Kizza D, Luitel NP, Petersen I, Shidhaye R et al.

The British Journal of Psychiatry

Published on: 4 January 2016

Background: An essential element of mental health service scale up relates to an assessment of resource requirements and cost implications.

Aims: To assess the expected resource needs of scaling up services in five districts in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.

Method: The resource quantities associated with each site’s specified care package were identified and subsequently costed, both at current and target levels of coverage.

Results: The cost of the care package at target coverage ranged from US$0.21 to 0.56 per head of population in four of the districts (in the higher-income context of South Africa, it was US$1.86). In all districts, the additional amount needed each year to reach target coverage goals after 10 years was below $0.10 per head of population.

Conclusions: Estimation of resource needs and costs for district-level mental health services provides relevant information concerning the financial feasibility of locally developed plans for successful scale up.

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