Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Mental Health, Public Policies and Primary Health Care in Colombia

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Mental Health, Public Policies and Primary Health Care in Colombia

Article excerpt

Abstract

In recent years it has become apparent emphasis promoted by the Pan American Health Organization-PAHO / WHO-mental health, trying to transcend disease and policy development in this line. This article discusses the progress made since the national level, in order to take responsibility of the State through the delivery of public policies for vulnerable groups or as life cycle, some with the intention of intersectoral, trying to make it possible to guarantee rights contribute directly or indirectly to mental health. Advances in policy, due to the weakness in the implementation of these at times, lack of assessment or other fragmentation and difficulty intersectoral linkages, unfortunately do not get the best results.

Key words: Mental health; Public policy; Primary health care; Health; Colombia

INTRODUCTION

In recent years it has become apparent emphasis promoted by the Pan American Health Organization-PAHO / WHO-mental health, trying to transcend disease and policy development in this line. This article discusses the progress made since the national level, in order to take responsibility of the State through the delivery of public policies for vulnerable groups or as life cycle, some with the intention of intersectoral, trying to make it possible to guarantee rights contribute directly or indirectly to mental health. Advances in policy, due to the weakness in the implementation of these at times, lack of assessment or other fragmentation and difficulty intersectoral linkages, unfortunately do not get the best results.

MENTAL HEALTH, PUBLIC POLICIES AND PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN COLOMBIA

The health system reform in Colombia is associated to constitutional elements and has a global nature since it implies deep modifications in sanitary legislation, intersector consequences, substantial change of relations between services providers and users of services and is facing the appearance of new stakeholders (Infante, De la Mata & López-Acuña, 2000). Thus, most of the first years are invested in adaptations and adjustments, which are essential for mental health due to the limitation of resources it implies, particularly due to the reduction of Benefit Plans in this area and the closing of some institutions that are not able to respond to the economic requirements of the model.

Subsequently, Law 790 from 2002, in article 5, orders the "(***) merge of the Ministry of Work and Social Security and the Ministry of Health" (Colombian Congress, 2002, p.2) comprising the Ministry of Social Protection, thus generating new frameworks for the health sector. Other modifications to the SGSS are set forth in Law 1122 from 2007 in terms of "(...) direction, universalization, financing, balance among system stakeholders, rationalization and improvement of health service provision, strengthening the public health programs and the functions of inspection, surveillance and control and the organization and operation of networks for health service provision". (Colombian Congress, 2007)

During this period, an emphasis on mental health promoted by the Pan American Health Organization -PAHO/WHO- was evident, in an attempt to transcend the disease and create policies in this line. Progress has been observed in the national environment, seeking to assume the State responsibility through the promulgation of public policies for vulnerable groups or based on the life cycle, some were intended for inter-sectoriality, attempting to make it possible to guarantee rights that contribute directly or indirectly to mental health. It is necessary to point out that progress in the design of policies unfortunately does not obtain the best results sometimes due to weakness in their implementation, some other times due to lack of evaluation or fragmentation and difficulty for intersector linkage.

In 1998, the National Policy of Mental Health was promulgated under Resolution 02358, which is currently enforceable. …

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