Psychiatric Hospitals in Ghana are charging patients “illegally” and could be sued over the act, the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei, has warned.
Speaking on the Morning Starr Tuesday, Dr. Osei said the State is required by law to take care of the patients, however, it has failed to provide adequate funding to run the facilities.
“I must say yes, illegally because someone will take us to court one of these days,” the former head of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital told the host Francis Abban.
He stressed: “If I were a patient or a patient’s relative I will probably do it. You pay for your folder, consultation and the ward by the time you are finished you may have paid Gh¢500. It is a lot of money for a mentally-ill patient… that is even not all because you pay for other toiletries like bucket, t-roll among others.”
The Psychiatric Hospital needs over Gh¢4 million to operate. The government is yet to release its budgetary allocation for this year, according to Dr. Osei.
“It has been assurances and promises but the money doesn’t come… Patients don’t eat assurances,” Dr. Osei lamented.
The Accra Psychiatric Hospital, which was built in 1904 and commissioned in 1906, currently has about 422 patients some of whom have been compelled to use a dirty worn-out place as bathroom.