Psychiatric hospitals owe GH¢13 million

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1.7485773The three public psychiatric hospitals are indebted to various organisations to the tune of GH¢13 million.

The debt, which has resulted from the purchase of medicines, food, facilities maintenance, among other services, was incurred between 2012 and 2015.

The three are the Pantang Hospital and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, both in the Greater Accra Region, and the Ankaful Hospital in the Central Region.

A specialist psychiatrist at the Pantang Hospital, Dr Frank Baning, who disclosed this during a sensitisation workshop organised by the Mental Health Society of Ghana and the Mental Health Leadership and Advocacy Programme (mhLAP) for the media on mental health reporting, indicated that the Pantang Hospital, for instance, owed GH¢5 million.

He said between 2012 and 2015, funds received by the various hospitals amounted to GH¢678,600 including aid and government funds.

In his presentation, Dr Baning said inadequate funding and resources to the sector was hampering adequate and proper care and treatment of persons with mental health conditions, as enshrined in the Mental Health Act 846 and the 1992 Constitution.

Treatment gap

Currently, he said, Ghana had not done too well in mental health care.

He said the statistics showed a 98 per cent gap in treatment of mental disorder, since the prevalence of mental disorder was estimated at 10 per cent of the total population.

Denying persons with conditions of mental disorder the requisite treatment and care, he said, indirectly violated their rights.

However, he was optimistic that when the Mental Health Act was fully implemented successfully, there would be massive improvement in mental health care.

Media advised

In spite of the challenges, he said, the authorities had begun some initiatives to train medical officers to give primary care at the general hospital level, while some activities to ensure community-based treatment approach had started.

Dr Baning took the media through various types of mental disorder, including depression, personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.

He advised the media to be accurate and balanced in their reportage by seeking factual information and create awareness of the symptoms of the disorders.

The Country Facilitator of the mhLAP, Mr Humphrey Kofie, said the training was to educate the media to avoid stigma-oriented reportage, stereotyping, promoting fear and mistrust and ensure appropriate report on the condition.

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ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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