President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 6th June 2023, commissioned the newly constructed building, which will serve as the new home for the Department of Psychiatry at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
At the commissioning ceremony, the President described the facility as an impressive structure.
It serves both the University of Ghana Medical School and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, and stands as a tribute to the memory of Squadron Leader Melody Danquah, a trailblazing woman, who made history as the first female military pilot in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1960s.
According to him, “Her story serves as an inspiration not only to those living with mental illness but also to those who persevere, thrive and achieve their fullest potential in life.”
The Melody houses a conference room, student lecture hall, faculty research offices, a serene waiting area conducive to teaching and learning, trendy consulting rooms, therapy rooms, a treatment room, a pharmacy, and an observation room.
He said this building symbolizes a beautiful partnership between public institutions and the private sector. It shows what can be achieved when the experts sit with the private sector and the private sector becomes alive to its responsibilities. And this partnership then deepens Government’s commitment to advancing mental healthcare in Ghana.
Mental Health Eats Up 7% of GDP
At the ceremony, the President disclosed that mental health eats up 7% of our GDP.
It was in reference to a study conducted by three institutions.
The study was conducted by the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), in collaboration with the Yale University and the Department of Psychiatry Department of the University of Ghana.
The study also showed that only three per cent of mental health patients received services from orthodox psychiatric settings
It said that seven per cent of the country’s productivity is lost to ordinary Ghanaians due to mental health.
To help address the challenges identified through the study, the President revealed his administration was making significant strides by prioritising mental health and increasing funding by over 200 per cent over the last six years to support comprehensive care.
President Akufo-Addo added that the Mental Health Act 846 passed in 2012 had led to a more coordinated and efficient approach to mental health care, empowering individuals with mental health conditions to live in their communities with the support of their families and friends.
He explained that the Act focused on human rights and that people with mental problems were treated with dignity and respect.
National Health Insurance Scheme
He said the government would continue to improve the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), expanding healthcare infrastructure and enhancing general healthcare delivery.
He disclosed that ad a matter of justice and equality, to include the more serious mental health conditions in the NHIS list so that some of the expenses of patients might be covered by the scheme.
Source: rainbow radio