Ghana’s Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Akwasi Osei has said mental health in the country is on the verge of collapse.
The renowned psychiatrist revealed that mental hospitals across the country are highly under resourced to fully cater for mentally challenged patients, blaming it on government’s inability to pay the GHc 7 million arears owed psychiatric hospitals.
“Treatment for mentally ill patients are now becoming more expensive as they virtually have to pay for their folders, consultation and even the wards, which one might need at least GhC500 to cover the cost,” Dr. Osei said on Morning Starr.
He added “mentally ill patients are among the poorest in the country and asking such people to pay an amount of about GhC500 is unfair.”
According to him, it is the duty of government to provide Psychiatric Hospitals with drugs, foodstuff and other operational materials, but nothing is forthcoming from the State.
“So again they [government] will write for you to go and purchase these things out of the pockets of the Psychiatric Doctors and Nurses in situations where the patient cannot afford,” Dr Osei, who is the head of the Mental Health Authority told the host Francis Abban.
“And these drugs are supposed to be free when they are in the hospital because they are not readily available; but now that we are out of stock of these medicines, it has become almost impossible to have them as local pharmaceuticals do not have them too,” he said.
The Chief Psychiatrist said there should be a law that will force government and the citizenry and everybody to contribute towards better conditions within the corridors of mental care.