The Ghana Mental Health Authority has warned that a project it initiated to take six thousand mentally ill patients off the streets of the country is in limbo.
This is because the authority is cash strapped, according to its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Akwasi Osei.
Speaking to Starr News’ Daniel Lartey Tuesday, Dr. Osei said the project launched two years ago and dubbed “operation, clear the street and unchain mental health patients” was expected to house the mentally ill patients, treat them and send them to their families.
Parliament recently passed the Mental Health Bill aimed at ensuring best standards in mental healthcare—which has embedded into it an LI calling for the establishment of the mental health levy.
The levy, explained Dr. Osei is expected to make available to the authorities the needed resources to effectively implement the project.
But, he stated it appeared that efforts to take the over 6000 mentally ill patients off the streets, is in dire circumstances as the ministry of finance is yet to approve the authority’s yearly mental health levy of GHS130million.
“It is the ministry of finance that has the ultimate responsibility before the LI can be passed, if we don’t have it, parliament can still pass the LI, but if parliament passes the LI the whole thing will be toothless because we don’t have the necessary funding mechanism,” said Dr. Osei