Government would be releasing a total of GHC1 million to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital next week to shore up its function, a deputy Communications Minister has said.
Felix Kwakye Ofosu said the money is partly to settle a GHC670,000 outstanding budgetary balance and the GHC153,000 remainder meant for drugs. The expected amount will add to GHC34,000 it received last week.
Ghana’s mental hospitals particularly the Accra Psychiatric Hospital made the news after nurses announced they had withdrawn their services. They went on a strike dubbed ‘Run for danger’ because of the absence of basic supplies like gloves, detergents and medication to supress agressive patients.
The hospital is struggling under a GHC3.5million debt, the director Dr. Pinnaman Apau has revealed. Having served as a consultant psychiatrist for 10 years, she said the hospital’s environment is everything but encouraging.
Defending the nurses who have gone home leaving the patients, she said, “They don’t have the basic logistics they need and they feel that the environment is not safe.”
The situation has left the Hospital’s administrator with no choice than to discharge the 10 patients following the strike.
Sources close to Joy News have revealed at least another barge of 200 more patients are expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours.
Addressing the crisis at the hospital, Mr Kwakye Ofosu admitted the situation at the mental facility points to the lack of attention paid to mental health by successive governments.
Speaking on the Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday,he rationalized this was borne out of the limited resources that have to go around all the sectors in the economy.
Mr Kwakye Ofosu added government is working to ameliorate the situation so that “we will not fall into the difficulty we had last week.”
With the GHC3.5 million the Hospital has said its owes some suppliers, he said government would schedule a meeting with them to find a way to “amortize the money.”