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Mental Health Authority pushes for the introduction of care levy

The Mental Health Authority (MHA) has underscored the need for establishing a levy that would provide the needed funding to service mental health care in the country.

DrAkwasiOsei, Chief Executive Officer, MHA noted that the Authority was handicapped due to inadequate resources and the Authority was facing challenges such as feeding of patients and the provision of medication as well.

The Article 88 of the Mental Health Act, 2012 (Act 846) highlights that the Minister responsible for Finance shall prescribe the appropriate levy or taxation for mental health care funding through Parliament.

DrOsei said this in his presentation at a forum organised by BasicNeeds- Ghana, on the theme: “Status of Implementation of the Mental Health Law (Act 846, 2012) and the Legislative Instrument (LI)”.

The chief executive officer of MHA was therefore, hopeful that the mental health care levy, which was called for by the Mental Health Act would be established to provide regular and constant supply of funds.

He said with regards to the implementation process, stigma and discrimination reduced somehow, partnership with prayer camps and traditional healers yielding fruits, less chaining and shackling and human resource greatly increased.

He pointed out that again MHA had seen more cases in the communities than at the psychiatric hospitals, whereas some staff training embarked on, some medications procured this year (since last seven years) and NGOs actively playing roles.

He noted that however, there were challenges, saying the LI was not passed, levy not established, funding remained a problem, prioritisation not achieved and Mental Health Board (MHB) not in place after dissolution.

Mr Peter Yaro, Executive Director, BasicNeeds-Ghana said the overall objectives of the project was to improve community mental health treatment through increased funding to mental health services.

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