Gov’t Urged to Provide Mental Health Levy for Psychiatric Hospitals
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.
Speaking on the near closure of mental health facilities and the subsequent release of over GH¢500,000 to the Mental Health Authority, Dr Osei said it is time parliament considered the passing the Mental Health Bill before the house.
“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.
Government’s inability to release funds to the Mental Health Authority is taking a toll on patients as they are being made to pay for services.
The Mental Health Authority has complained that the government has not released any funds to it in the last six months.
“Not a pesewa has come from the ministry. It is really worrying,” the CEO of the Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei, remarked to Citi News.
“For six months, almost the middle of the year, we have not had a pesewa from the central government; from the Ministry of Health. And not only the Mental Health Authority but also the psychiatric hospitals and patients have to be fed; they have to be given medications, they have to be given detergents and what not.”
In 2016, the Mental Health Authority urged the government to pass the Legislative Instrument (LI) on mental health to end the frustration of Psychiatric Hospitals continually relying on government for funding.
Dr Akwasi Osei, Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, told Citi News the LI includes the establishment of the mental health fund which will provide funds to run the various mental health facilities in the country.