President Mahama asked to establish Mental Health Board

President John Dramani Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama

Dr Akwasi Osei, Medical Director of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, has appealed to President John Dramani Mahama to as a matter of urgency establish the Mental Health Board, to help operationalise the activities of the health institution.

The Medical Director also explained that the formation of any such Board would help the hospital to offer efficient mental health care to patients.

Dr. Osei made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a two-day annual performance review of Mental Health Services in Ghana, on Wednesday in Accra.

He said the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Pantang Mental Hospital and Ankaful Mental Hospital; the major mental health institutions, needed a Mental Health Board to direct the activities of these facilities on how to survive.

Dr Osei said the hospitals were faced with huge financial challenge that had ‘’pushed the facilities to keep downsizing mental health patients in their units though the number keep increasing at the Out Patients Department (OPD).

He noted that psychiatric cases at the OPD had gone up as the country’s population went up.

Dr Osei expressed hope that the 2012 report on the hospitals that indicated woeful inadequate and irregular funding, decrease of staff, would enable the Ministry of Health have better appreciation of problems and press for the immediate establishment of  the Board.

Dr Gloria Quansah – Asare, who represented Dr Osei at the event, said there was the need for the major psychiatric hospitals to work with regional and district hospitals in the country to promote mental health delivery.

She said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was discussing with the Nurses and Midwives Council and the University of Cape Coast the possibility of introducing a degree programme in Mental and Community Health Nursing, which was expected to commence this year.

She gave the assurance that the GHS would continue to collaborate with the psychiatric hospitals to provide good quality care to people with mentally problems.

Professor J. B Asare, Consultant Psychiatrist, asked all heads of departments at the psychiatric hospitals to consider themselves as managers to improve mental health care in the country.

Madam Cynthia Sottie, Focal Person, at the Ministry of Health noted that the passing of a Mental Health Act would help promote mental health care.

She said the GHS was working with the Mental Health Authority on a Mental Health Strategic Plan that had reached the final stage.

Source: GNA

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