Analysis of data on mental health service providers indicates that in
1971 the private sector accounted for 34% of inpatient days, 86% of
outpatient visits, 44% of expenditures by source of funds, and 51% of
expenditures by receipt of funds. The author believes that mental health
professionals must familiarize themselves with the economic interests
influencing national health insurance proposals and with public policy
making processes if they are to help preserve appropriate roles for the
public and private sectors in mental health service delivery.