Capture mental health treatment under NHIS, officer appeals to gov’t

Mr Paul Atta Poku, a Registered Nurse and Mental Health Officer has appealed to the government to capture the treatment of mental health condition under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). As Ghana joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2023 Mental Health Day, Mr Poku a staff at the Fountain Care Hospital, a private health facility at Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that many of the mental health patients put on drugs could not afford to buy. October 10 was the MHD, set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and celebrated annually to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health care. The day also provided an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. Mr Poku said the conditions of patients put on drugs, relapsed whenever they discontinue taking their drugs, saying that normally happened when caregivers and families could no longer afford to buy drugs for patients. He indicated the health facility was recording high cases of mental health conditions, with epilepsy and schizophrenia (hereditary) being the common ones. Mr Poku said though drugs were available, many of the patients could not afford to buy, a situation which impeded their treatment process, saying with the NHIS covering treatments, cases could be brought to the barest minimum. He dispelled public misconceptions about mental health, saying it was untrue that conditions were linked to witchcraft, wizardry, or family curse. Cases could be treated, only if patients were encouraged to adhere to the intake of their drugs strictly, Mr Poku added.

Source: Ghana News Agency