Health Minister to facilitate quick passage of the Mental Health Bill

The Accra Psychiatric HospitalThe Minister of Health, Mr Joseph Yeileh Chereh, on Friday pledged that the Ministry will vigorous pursue the passage of the Mental Health Bill when Parliament resume from recess.

He said the bill was among the nine bills before Parliament to be discussed and passed, adding, and “once it is on the agenda, the Ministry will facilitate its early passage”.

According to him, the Ministry have also prepared a draft alcohol policy to ensure that children below 18 years do not have access to alcoholic beverages as well as regulate its sale and production.

Speaking to the media after a working visit to the Pantang Hospital familiarise himself with the success and challenges of the hospital, the Health Minister said the Government acknowledged the mainstreaming of mental health into all health care.

The Health Minister pledged to assist to put back the original plan of the hospital and make it a centre of excellence after listening to the numerous challenges facing  it in the areas of security, human resource, quality care among others.

The Pantang Hospital, which was hurriedly commissioned in1975 to decongest the Accra Psychiatric Hospital though uncompleted, had the original intention to provide a Pan-African Mental Health Village for Research.

Planned as regional psychiatric hospital, with a 500 bed capacity, well developed plan with provision for Out Patient Department, wards, administration, school, post office, police post, many of these structures are not complete.

Currently, Pantang has only 28 operational departments and receives Psychiatric patients from all over Ghana and few from neighboring countries, namely; Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’lvoire and Nigeria.

Briefing the Minister and his delegation, Dr Anna Dzadey, Medical Director of Pantang Hospital, said with staff strength of 552, which included only two psychiatrists, one medical doctor, one psychologist and 310 nurses, the hospital had eight wards and each ward had fifty beds.

She said the hospital had three medical assistants, three medical assistants and one medical assistant for dentistry.

Dr Dzadey explained that the hospital’s five top cases recorded were Schizophrenia, Schizotypal and Delusional Disorders and had a total of 16,990 for 2011 as compared to 15,722 in 2010. Out this, 7,458 were males and 9,532 were females.

Depression and Mood (affective) Disorders recorded a total f 3,032 cases in 2011 as compared to 2,520 cases in 2010. Out of this, 1,109 were males and 1,923 were females.

Epilepsy recorded a total of 2,922 cases in 2011and 2,321 cases in 2010 with 2,321being males and 1,261 being females.

Mental Disorders due to alcohol use recorded 2,206 cases for 2011 as against 1,983 cases for 2010 out of which 1,191 were males 1,015 were females.

Mental Disorders due to Cannabis use, the Medical Director said recorded 1,774 cases in 2011 as against 1,641cases in 2010 out of which 1,031 were males and 743 were females.

The hospital in 2011 admitted 1, 409 patients as against 1,539 patients in 2010 out of this 498 were females and 911 were males.

Dr Dzadey after taking the health minister and his entourage round the facility including the nursing training school appealed for help to address the challenges of shortage of human resources, lack of sufficient financial resources, inadequate or obsolete equipment, lack or inadequate treatment programmes in area of rehabilitation, unfinished structures, security and  land encroachment and water.

Source: GNA

  1. RobertMNoble says

    I have read somewhere on the news that something like “Penny Medical” is offering lowest health insurance rate for low and middle income families so search online and find them.


    Research has indicated that, Ghana has a psychiatric treatment gap of 98% and that Mental Health currently takes only 3.6% of the overall health budget.The ratio is one psychiatrist to 1.7m people.There is 25% chance of each individual getting a mental problem. The mental health bill is still before parliament for more than two and a half years. Mr President ,PLEASE! pursue the passage of the bill! Thank you.

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