Authorities at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Accra say they cannot rely on government promises to resume admission of patients amidst fears of acute shortage of food and debilitating financial challenges.

The facility recently discontinued the admissions of patients due to the aforementioned challenges.

Dr. Akwasi Osei, Head of the Mental Health Authority in an Interview with Ghanaian Times Thursday stated that the hospital is hugely underfunded and faces closure if the government did not come to its aid.

He said regardless of the levies the hospital took from patients to help cope with the situation, it cannot survive on that.

“Government through the MOH is supposed to cater for patients free of charge as per the mental health law, especially now that the Mental Health Authority does not have a funding mechanism,” he said.

Francisca Ntow, a member of the facility’s Public Relation team told Starr News earlier this week that the hospital is nearing collapse as the remaining food stuff will not last long.

As a result, she added they had to count on benevolent organizations for sustenance.

“We went around appealing to people and what we have been brought is solely from benevolent Ghanaians. We also appealed to the ministry and they also tried to organize some foodstuff for us but what we have now won’t last for long,” stated Ntow, who is also a senior nurse at the facility.

The Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia Thursday, visited the facility and held a meeting with its Director in order to get full understanding of the challenges facing the hospital, promising to get back to them today.

Briefing Starr News Friday on the Minister’s visit, Ntow said he [Minister] was informed about the devastating circumstance the hospital finds itself in and the urgent need for government to provide it with cash to pay its suppliers.

“…We owe them [suppliers] a great deal. That is why they decided to stop supplying. So, if the suppliers are paid they will resume supplying the goods to us,” she said adding “…So we actually took him round the facility and he saw things for himself…and the way our structures are in a very bad situation.”

She said she believed what the minister saw might be the reason he promised to provide authorities of the facility feedback from the government today [Friday].

Following the announcement of stoppage in admission of patients by the mental hospital, pro-mental health NGOs warned that it will be dangerous to close the admission entirely, calling on its directors to amend their stance on the freeze of admission.

But, Ntow told Starr News that their requests cannot be granted as the foods they have cannot even last for a month.

“…So we can’t keep collecting new patients or admitting new patients and banking our hope on a promise,” she said adding, however, that they are being optimistic the Minister will honour his promise.

Notwithstanding, the freeze of admission she quickly said that “we look at the very very serious cases that really need admission then we do admit…but, “it depends solely on the doctor,” she said.

Source: Ghana/ Awal


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