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General News of Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Psychiatric patients might storm Parliament – Akwasi Osei

The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has said psychiatric patients would be compelled to stage a protest at Parliament over the House’s refusal to pass the Mental Health Bill.

According to the Authority, psychiatric hospitals in the country need sustainable sources of funding hence the need to pass the Bill which has the mental health levy as a component.

Speaking to Citi News, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei said the psychiatric patients are capable of besieging Parliament as the situation in the hospitals worsens.

“The patient themselves feel out of desperation they want to go to parliament themselves, that is the situation I am talking about right now. The situation now is that we do not have the levy, we don’t have the LI, and we don’t have money to feed patients,” he said.

The introduction of a Mental Health Levy will provide funding for psychiatric hospitals across the country and save the desperate state of the facilities.

Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei explains the levy will be a component of the Mental Health Bill which is currently before parliament.

“They should now begin to look at the medium to long-term approaches otherwise we will come back to square one, where we will feel we need to come and shout, beg and scream. The medium to the long-term sustainable plan will eventually be the establishment of the mental health levy,” he said.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has called for increased funding towards the provision of mental health care.

According to him, the Health Ministry needs to ensure the full operationalization of the Mental Health Act following its passage by Parliament.

“The point is that in Ghana, it’s lack of resources or lack of money. We need to take a decision on it nationally, and to resource the ministry of health and the mental health department because even in terms of training there is still inadequacy,” he said.