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Economic considerations for mental health policy development in Lithuania

L. Murauskiene


Lithuanian mental health care system is structured to serve mental health care needs of children and adolescents, as well as of adults. The provision of mental health care is based on equity, solidarity assuring accessibility of mental health services of those in need. The structure of mental health care system is based on a primary level (family phy- sicians, outpatient mental health centres), secondary level (outpatient specialist care, inpatient specialized care in hos- pitals or day care centres) and tertiary level (this is special- ized mental health care, outpatient or inpatient in university clinics). Mental patients are eligible for social care under both institutional and non-institutional arrangements.
Throughout the last decade Lithuanian mental health care system has undergone changes applied to the improved ac- cessibility of care and assurance of the quality of care in the framework of deinstitutionalization. Due to the absence of periodic assessments, a study of public funding for mental health was undertaken at the end of 2009. Data on health system financing and spending, including certain time and structure dimensions, could be considered as significant input into health policy.
The main aim of the study was to look at Lithuanian mental health sector development in the financing of mental health dimension, thus to provide evidences on implementation of the national mental health strategy. Correspondingly, two main fields of research were a) an estimation of govern- ment costs and societal economic burden related to poor mental health in Lithuania by assessing 2008 data; and b) an assessment the changes in public mental health financing in the country during 2000-2008.


mental health; financing; costs of illness; deinstitutionalization; Lithuania

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L. Murauskiene
deinstitutionalization, Lithuania

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