The Ministry of Health has presented a cheque for GH¢ 279,000 to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital as part of measures to help resolve the recent challenges facing the hospital.
The amount is part of the GH¢1 million approved by the government in November to resolve the plight of the hospital until February, 2017.
Early on, consumables and pharmaceuticals worth GH¢ 400,000 and GH¢ 300,000 were presented to the hospital.
The Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, who presented the cheque to the hospital, said the gesture was to fulfil the promise the government made to resolve problems of the hospital.
He expressed optimism that the current intervention would help the hospital to operate smoothly and efficiently up to at least February 2017 without any major challenges.
“However, we as a ministry cannot take the glory of solving the problem of the hospital alone. I want to express the government’s gratitude to individuals, public and private institutions that supported the ministry to resolve the problems of the hospital by donating in kind and in cash,” he said.
Mr Segbefia said the government had very good plans to enhance mental health and expressed the hope that the successive government would give priority to mental health and health in general.
He assured the incoming government of his and the ministry’s maximum cooperation during the transition period and any other time that their services would be needed.
Receiving the cheque, the Medical Director of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr Pinaman Appaw, expressed gratitude to the minister and the government for their intervention.
She stated, however, that the gesture was by no means an end to the numerous challenges of the hospital and appealed to the incoming government to help resolve the recurrent challenges of the hospital.
Dr Appaw also suggested that the passage of the mental Health Bill which would ensure the setting up of the mental health fund would go a long way to help resolve the recurrent challenges of the four psychiatric hospitals in the country to boost mental health care delivery.
She expressed the hospital’s profound gratitude to Mr Segbefia for the warm reception he had given to the management and staff of the hospital and his readiness to resolve their issue anytime they contacted him.
The hospital, she said, was ready to cooperate with the incoming government to boost mental health.
In November 2016, nurses at the hospital laid down their tools to press home their demand for what they described as unfair treatment by the government.
The action was necessitated by a myriad of issues, including the inadequate supply of medicines, the absence of an insurance policy to cover the bills of staff that got injured in the line of duty, risk allowance for nurses, lack of basic logistics and potential attacks by the mental patients.
As a result, managers of the hospital began to discharge patients from the facility as they struggled to take care of them.
To resolve the issue, the government approved the release of GH¢1 million to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital (APH) towards the provision of quality health care for the patients.