Government Must Include Mental Healthcare On NHIS
The Deputy CEO disclosed that the Covid-19 pandemic has created adverse effects on mental health care delivery and urged the government to initiate steps in rolling out policy initiatives to address the gaps.
A call has been made to the government of Ghana to consider the immediate inclusion of mental healthcare on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The addition of mental healthcare to the scheme, according to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health Authority (MHA), Dr Caroline Amissah, would help to cater for the health needs of patients as part of the efforts in streamlining the inequalities against mental health in the country’s healthcare systems.
In this regard, Dr Amissah appealed to the government to invest more in mental health by increasing its budgetary allocation to address issues, challenges and healthcare delivery more effectively and efficiently.
He urged the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development to make an adequate financial package to support mental health at the respective assemblies across the country.
Dr Amissah made the call at a joint press launch of the world mental health week celebration in Accra under the theme, “Mental Health in an Unequal World”, organised by the Mental Health Authority and supported by UKaid, Ghana Somubi Dwumadie and the World Health Organisation.
The lineup of activities of the weeklong celebration is press launch, youth community volunteer sensitization programme of Covid-19 on mental health, Seminar, Awareness programme at St. Mary Senior High School, Roundtable meeting by FCDO and Media engagement by regional mental health coordinators on radio and television across the country.
The Deputy CEO disclosed that the Covid-19 pandemic has created adverse effects on mental health care delivery and urged the government to initiate steps in rolling out policy initiatives to address the gaps in mental health, adding that infrastructure and logistics in the mental health space be enhanced to support the country’s economic growth.
According to her, the government must prioritise mental health and explained that the gesture will strengthen poverty reduction as well as improve population health which is geared towards the socio-economic development of the country.
Dr Amissah however called on institutions to invest also in mental health as part of their corporate social responsibility.
For her part, the Chairperson for the occasion, Mrs Estella Appiah said the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to bear anxiety and depression among children hence parents must engage their children and access the mental health status, and explained that a UNICEF report has revealed that scores of children are in trauma as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Mental Health Authority was set up by an Act of Parliament, Act 846 of 2012 to regulate mental healthcare in Ghana and mandated to propose, promote and implement policies to improve mental healthcare delivery across the country.
Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu Greater Accra Regional Correspondent