04 July 2017

Parliament to summon Ofori-Atta over Mental Health funds

The Deputy Ranking member of the Health Committee of Parliament, Dr. Robert Kuganab-Lem has hinted that the House is set to invite the Finance Minister to answer questions on his failure to release funds to the Mental Health Authority for effective running of mental Hospitals in the country.

He made this known Tuesday July 4, 2017 on Morning Starr following revelations by the Chief Executive of the Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei that government is yet to release its budgetary allocations for this year.

The country’s psychiatric hospitals are in a sorry state requiring over GHS7million to smoothly operate.

“Treatment for mentally ill patients are now becoming more expensive as they virtually have to pay for their folders, consultation and even the wards, which one might need at least GhC500 to cover the cost,” Dr. Osei told Morning Starr host Francis Abban adding that “mentally ill patients are among the poorest in the country and asking such people to pay an amount of about GhC500 is unfair.”

In a reaction, Dr. Kuganab-Lem who is also the MP for Binduri said “we simply are disappointed that people in the Mental Health Institutions are not able to get their money to run the place.

“We have to know that when government is elected, that government is elected to solve problems. You can’t shift problems to any other person. It is your duty to solve the problem,” he added.

The committee, he said will swiftly act on the complaints of the Authority and subpoena Ken Ofori Atta to ascertain the reasons for the “delay in the release of the amount to the Mental Health Authority.”

He said “We know that persons suffering from mental illness are a vulnerable group. So it is important that we take care of those people because we know that mental health is a continuum and anybody can slip into that state.

“It is important that we take the health of our people seriously. We do not want excuses. The NDC government was not able to fulfill what they were supposed to fulfill. A new government is in place and that government must function to make the lives of our people better.”

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