The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has called for increased funding towards the provision of mental healthcare.
According to him, the Health Ministry needs to ensure the full operationalization of the Mental Health Act following its passage by Parliament.
The Tamale South MP was contributing to a statement on the floor of the house on mental health.
“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.
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.
Dr Akwasi Osei stressed that the funding was necessary for the effective care of mentally ill patients.
“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.”
The Mental Health Authority has in the past, 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.
The LI includes the establishment of the mental health fund which will provide funds to run the various mental health facilities in the country.
Ghana has a Mental Health Bill that was passed into law in 2012, but observers have noted that it lacks the necessary LI for its smooth implementation to help navigate the problems that have plagued mental health care in Ghana.
“The mental health law talked about the establishment of a mental health fund. That mental health fund will be fed through the mental health levy which may be part of an existing levy or capitation like NHIA, VAT or road fund,” Dr Akwasi Osei has said in the past.