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The future of psychiatry in low- and middle-income countries

  • V. Patel (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 12 February 2009

The great shortage, and inequitable distribution, of psychiatrists in low- and middle-income countries is one of the key reasons for the large treatment gap for people with mental disorders. Psychiatrists need to play a public mental health leadership role in increasing the coverage of mental health care through task shifting of effective interventions to non-specialist health workers. Psychiatrists' new roles should include designing and managing such programmes, building clinical capacity, supervision and quality assurance, providing referral pathways and research.

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*Address for correspondence: Professor V. Patel, Sangath Centre, Porvorim, Goa, India403521. (Email:
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Psychological Medicine
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