Accra Psychiatric hospital in crisis

Mental health care delivery has gotten worse even after the passage of the Mental Health Act which was supposed to make the situation better

The Accra Psychiatric hospital may have to halt admissions or let patients bear the cost of feeding if their financial situation does not change in the coming weeks.

This is because the mental health institution's battle with financial difficulties does not seem to have an end in sight.

In an interview with the medical director at the hospital Dr. Akwasi Osei said most of the contractors who provide on credit essential items needed to run the hospital can no longer do so and have started withdrawing the services to the hospital.

This is not the first time the mental health institution is threatening to close admissions. For some years now the institution has been in serious financial difficulties and at some point threatened to shut down.

The Mental Health Act was supposed to deal with some of these issues the hospital is grappling with. The Act was expected to revolutionalise mental health care but this is yet to happen after the act was passed in  2012.

“we asked the government, the government is not giving us. We don’t know why but we are not getting the money that we need to run these hospitals. Precisely because of these issue that we had the mental health act passed so the act will essentially resolve this issue but it will take a little while, until it’s able to resolve these issues it will continue recurring  unless the government decides now to release money.” Dr. Osei said.

He said there are two options the facility has to consider. The first is passing the cost of the meals and other items unto the patients. The second is refusing to admit new patients.

The Accra Psychiatric hospital is owing its creditors about 13 million cedis which it has no means of paying.

For a country which claims to put premium on mental health especially after the passage of the Mental Health Act, the events before and after the passage of the Act show Ghana places very little or no importance on mental health care.

The facility to be able to run effectively and efficiently needs about 4 million cedis every year and so far it has received absolutely nothing.


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