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Article Abstract

Online ISSN: 1099-176X    Print ISSN: 1091-4358
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics
Volume 12, Issue 1, 2009. Pages: 19-25
Published Online:30 March 2009

Copyright © 2009 ICMPE.


 

Estimating the Changes in Demand for Public Mental Health Services Following Changes in Eligibility: Analysis of National Survey Data

Daphna Levinson,1 Yaacov Lerner,2 Nelly Zilber3

1PhD, Ministry of Health, Mental Health Services, Jerusalem, Israel
2MD, Falk Institute for Mental Health Studies, KfarShaulHospital, Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, Israel
3Šs Sc., French Research Center of Jerusalem, Israel

* Correspondence to: D. Levinson, PhD, Mental Health Services, Ministry of Health, 2 Ben Tabai St., Jerusalem 91010, Israel.
Tel.: +972-2-568 1286
Fax: +972-2-673 8703
E-mail: Daphna.Levinson@moh.health.gov.il

Source of Funding: Ministry of Health with additional support from the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research and the Israel National Insurance Institute.

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an estimate of the utilization levels likely to be reached once mental health care becomes a legal right of each resident. Data extracted from a national survey were used to estimate   levels of demand among eligible respondents. The estimates for future demands on public mental health clinics ranged between 1.2% - the size of the population that is eligible by law and is currently using public mental health services to 5.5% - the size of the eligible population that is currently using some type of service or perceives the need for care in mental health. The estimates of the expected use fall in the range of other universal access systems.

 

Background: Numerous national surveys have shown that the rate of use of mental health services in a population lags behind the prevalence rate of psychiatric disorder. The preparations to provide universal coverage in Israel require estimates of the utilization levels likely to be reached once mental health care becomes a legal right of each resident.

Aims: This paper aims to provide an estimate of the size of the population which not only will be eligible for specialty mental health care, but which will also demand ambulatory mental health specialty care from public providers

Methods: Data for this study were extracted from a national survey conducted during 2003-2004 inIsrael as part of the WMH2000 initiative. Use and perceived need to use services among eligible respondents was used to estimate likely levels of demand.

Results: The estimates for future demands on public mental health clinics ranged between 1.2% - the size of the population that is eligible by law and is currently using public mental health services to 5.5% - the size of the eligible population that is currently using some type of service or perceives the need for care in mental health.

Discussion: The estimate of the expected use falls in the range of other universal access systems.

Conclusions and Implications for Policy: The present study provides estimates that are much higher than the estimated size of the population currently using public mental health services, yet the upper limit of the range of estimates is close to those on which the new legislation is based.


Received 11 February 2008; accepted 24 November 2008

Copyright 2009 ICMPE