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07.05.2019 Health

Mental Health Authority Reiterates Need For Care Levy

Dr. Akwesi OseiDr. Akwesi Osei

The Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwesi Osei has reiterated the need to establish a levy that would provide the needed funding to service mental health care in the country.

According to him, they lack resources at the Authority and stressed that government has failed to respond to their calls after several assurances.

He made this call in an interview on Morning Starr host Francis Abban, which was monitored by our reporter on Tuesday.

"The food served patients at the hospitals are compromised because we don't have enough cash. The public is not responding to the issues of mental health as well and that is sad.

"We’ve engaged the Ministry and we have been assured a number of times that we will receive cash to run the facilities but as we speak, we have not received any cash," he said.

Article 88 of the Mental Health Act, 2012 (Act 846) highlights that the Minister responsible for Finance shall prescribe the appropriate levy or taxation for mental health care funding through Parliament.

The approval of the Legislative Instrument (LI) would provide the needed headways and clarity for effective and full implementation of the provisions of the Mental Health Law.

Meanwhile, Dr. Akwesi Osei has disclosed they have begun a "Cash and Carry" approach, that will ensure patients who visit the mental health facility pay upfront before they will be attended to.

"We are back to Cash and Carry at our psychiatric hospitals. Donor support stopped since December last year. Government has not given us the funds to work. Now you would need from GH500 cedis to GH1000 cedis to get care," he said.

He further called the public and government to support the Authority with funds.

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