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Accra psychiatric hospital broke; inmates to starve

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fsfadfsdfThe Accra Psychiatric hospital has run out of funds to keep the hospital in proper operations.

Funds for the first quarter of the year that was supposed to have been released last year have still not been released.

Speaking to Starr news chief psychiatrist Dr. Akwesi Osei said if government does not provide funding for the mental health facility in the next few days, the state of the facility will go from bad to worse.

Dr Osei said the facility is owing food suppliers Ghc3 million, and they have now refused to supply anymore.

“We are very much and seriously short of funds not only medicine funds. If we don’t get funding then I’m afraid the already bad situation will worsen any moment from now; we need to get money.

“We are in the second month of the year, we’ve not had a single government allocation first month, in fact we should have had it at the end of last year…as at now we do not have money and yesterday the suppliers who were kind enough to give on credit are no longer giving, so we have to find some means from whatever and get a little money, go to the open market to buy and that is a major challenge…

“We have been borrowing all along… this puts us in a tight situation; we owe a total of about 3 million Ghana cedis… ” Dr Osei bemoaned.

Dr. Osei said even though psychiatric treatment and drugs are meant to be free, the hospital’s dire straits is compelling them to rely on cash for drugs.

“What we do is that for instance we arrange for private pharmaceutical companies and then they bring their drugs, and we sell for them literally or else we write for the patient to buy from town, and that is inconveniencing. A patient may not know where to go…”

He said for the facility to keep running, the hospital will soon be charging patients more than Ghc500.

Dr. Osei expressed worry at the way psychiatric patients are abandoned at the hospital. He said some relatives give wrong addresses making it difficult to locate the home of patients who have been treated.

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