Service transformation plans in the Eastern Cape informed by a needs-based gap analysis

Sukeri, K. ; Alonso-Betancourt, O. ; Emsley, R. (2015)

CITATION: Sukeri, K., Alonso-Betancourt, O. & Emsley, R. 2015. Service transformation plans in the Eastern Cape informed by a needs-based gap analysis. South African Journal of Psychiatry, 22(2):62-66, doi:10.7196/SAJP.823.

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Objectives. Part I of this research paper presented a needs and gap analysis for the management of schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder and major depression for the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It identified deficits and inequitable distribution of human resources and beds in the province. In this article, Part II, the authors propose a plan for public sector mental health services to address the human resource needs in the poorer eastern regions of the province. The plan focuses on human resource training and development. Methods. Evidence-based data on staff development in mental health from low-middle income countries were utilised to develop strategies to increase staff capacity to address unmet need. A financing model with a poverty index was developed to sustain a needs-based plan. Databases searched included Pubmed, Medline, Google and Google Scholar. The key words used included: mental health, mental health training, mental health resources, mental health in low-middle-income countries, mental health policy and plans, mental health needs- based planning, primary healthcare, primary mental healthcare, mental health financing. In addition the websites of the World Health Organization and the World Psychiatric Association were searched for similar resources. Conclusions. It is feasible, with careful attention to planning and implementation of evidence-based tools, to improve public mental health service delivery in this province. Sustained political will and professional commitment will ensure successful delivery of mental health services in a resource-limited province.

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