The Accra Psychiatric Hospital has for about one week restricted patient admissions to critical and emergency cases due to lack of funds, food and some medical supplies to run the hospital.
Companies that supply the hospital with detergents, gloves, staple foods , fish and meat have also halted their supplies to the hospital as it has not been able to pay a debt of about GH¢41.1 million owed them since 2013.
The Head of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei said in an interview with The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday that the hospital would not be able to run its normal operations until government released the needed funds to the facility.
The authority, he said has communicated to the Ministry of Health (MOH) the current state of the hospital and expects positive results within the shortest possible time before the situation gets out of hand.
Dr. Osei said the hospital could still not fund its operations despite the levies it took from patients as a means to share half of the hospital’s financial burden on patients.
“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.
Dr. Osei stated that the Pantang and Ankaful Psychiatric hospitals also owe their suppliers about GH¢3 million each.
A member of the Public Relations Directorate of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Emmanuel Febiri also told The Ghanaian Times that the hospital presently houses about 500 patients out of which two thirds have been abandoned by their family.
The hospital according to him attended to about 20 to 30 patients at its Out-Patient Department (OPD) daily, adding that the OPD was functioning normally but no new patients would be admitted.
He expressed concern about the deplorable state of the hospital saying “almost all roofs in this hospital are leaking, the electrical wirings have become very old and dangerous and patients are now being catered for with donations from benevolent institutions and individuals.”
Mr. Febiri said the hospital had for the past two weeks relied on donations from the Flag Staff House, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
He called on the public to assist the hospital build a mortuary facility to help generate funds to support its operations.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey