A situation analysis of Clinical Psychological services in South Africa’s public rural PHC settings

Johannes Hendrikus De Kock

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The goal of our study was to provide a situation analysis of clinical psychological
services in South Africa’s public rural primary healthcare (PHC) sector. In this
setting the treatment gap between human resources for- and the burden of
disease for mental illness is as high as 85%. South Africa has been facing
challenges in providing human resources for the delivery of essential public
mental health services. The majority of its mental health specialists - clinical
psychologists and psychiatrists - practice in South Africa’s urban and peri-urban
private sector. It is in the PHC areas of South Africa’s public health sector where
access to mental health professionals is the direst. The study was based the
analysis of both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected by
subjecting the heads of 163 public hospitals classified as rural by the
Department of Health to an interview schedule while secondary data comprised
of a literature review. While the amount of clinical psychologists working in rural
PHC areas show a serious shortfall, their numbers compare favourably to that of
other mental health specialists. Since the National Mental Health Summit of 2012,strategies have been implemented to improve access to mental health care. These strategies have started to produce results in the case of human resources for clinical psychology with a substantial amount of the analysis’ institutions reporting that clinical psychologists form part of their proposed future staff establishment, suggesting an expected growth in these services in South Africa’s public rural PHC sector.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015
EventSouth African National Psychology Conference (PsySSA) 2015 - Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Duration: 9 Nov 2015 → …
Conference number: https://www.psyssa.com/psyssa-congress/psyssa-congress-2015/


ConferenceSouth African National Psychology Conference (PsySSA) 2015
Abbreviated titlePsySSA 2015
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
Period9/11/15 → …


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