• Vol. 37 No. 9, 791–796
  • 15 September 2008

Performance Measures for Mental Healthcare in Singapore



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Mental disorders are both common and costly. The mental health system in Singapore lacks co-ordination as well as being underdeveloped in certain areas. To address these gaps as well to face emerging challenges like an ageing population, and other socioeconomic changes, the Ministry of Health of Singapore has commissioned a Committee to formulate a 5-year Mental Health Policy and Blueprint. A task group has been formed to implement this blueprint and evaluation of these various initiatives with performance measures are inevitable. The choice of these measures, however, can be a daunting task with the various and diverse interests of multiple stakeholders. This paper describes the process of choosing the relevant measures with the appropriate attributes, and suggests a framework, which can serve as a guide for selecting mental health performance measures.

Mental disorders are prevalent worldwide and while they are disabling and costly, they have not received that amount of attention and resources needed. A recent survey of low-income and middle-income countries (as per World Bank classification) revealed that government spending on mental health is much lower than what is needed when compared to the burden of mental illness and the availability of cost-effective interventions.

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