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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 58 (2016) 10, 683 - 687

Short report

Towards a sustainable, cost-effective mental health care; a policy perspective

P.P.T. Jeurissen, B.A. Ravesteijn, R.T.J.M. Janssen, M.A.C. Tanke

background After a decade of robust growth in spending, Dutch mental healthcare is on a more stricter budgetary path since 2012. High prevalence of illness and limited spending, imply the need for efficient mental healthcare delivery.
aim To advise how mental health care can be managed more efficiently. There will also have to be more differentiation between mild and serious psychiatric illnesses.
method Review of academic articles and policy studies.
results With regard to the treatment of fairly common disorders, more attention needs to be given to integrated basic care and e-health. Employers and stakeholders can perhaps play a role in financing some of these services. Severe mental disorders can be handled more often on an integrated ambulatory basis setting than only in a hospital setting, while scaling down inpatient capacity. These steps would represent a major transition and would require spending cuts and a change in the provider ‘landscape’.
conclusion Sustainable mental healthcare is inseparably linked to an agenda that provides value for money and it implies a major transition. However, in principle, it should be possible to fit these changes into the current system of governance. More attention needs to be given to coordination between the various domains, and to a reduction in administrative costs. Reimbursement methods should align e-health, collaborative care, case-management and best-practice pathways.

keywords budget, efficiency, mental health care