Health News of 2014-03-04

Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital bans admission of patients

The Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in the Cape Coast Metropolis of the Central Region has been compelled to place an embargo on new admissions as a result of erratic flow of funds and drugs from the government.

The Hospital has also discharged many of its patients, particularly those whose conditions were said to be “a bit ok” and they are to report either daily or weekly leaving 82 patients including 22 women whose conditions are said to be serious and needed constant medical attention and those whose families could not be traced.

According to the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Kwaw Armah Arloo, the Hospital had the capacity to admit between 300 and 350 patients.

He said last year the Hospital did not receive a regular supply of tracer drugs and was administering what was available to which some patients sometimes reacted.

Dr Arloo said the Ghc1.20 per inmate for a three-square meal the government paid as against the GHc4.60 due them was no longer forth coming.

The situation, he said, led to the accumulation of debts to its suppliers which the government settled in November 2013.

However, funds for the upkeep of the patients were not allocated, leaving the Hospital to depend on its Internally Generated Funds and occasional donations.

He said the Hospital was also in need of infrastructure as many of its buildings had not been renovated for years coupled with inadequate and faulty laundry and other machines.

Dr Arloo mentioned some of the challenges as negligence by relatives of patients who abandoned them at the Hospital whilst others failed to bring their relatives for review and appealed to such relatives not to isolate, abandon or discriminate against them.

He said what was sustaining the upkeep of the few patients were funds generated from mortuary services made available to the general public and the extension of its Out Patient Department (OPD) services to physical health services at a fee or through the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Dr. Arloo appealed to the government to ensure regular and consistent release of funds, drugs and other logistics as well as the posting of more doctors, laboratory technicians and paramedics including sign interpreters to help them communicate with dumb patients.

He said the Hospital had plans to go into poultry farming which would be manned by some staff as well as patients who were treated but could not find their way home and also solicit for funds to undertake a biogas project to cut down on expenses.

Mr Arloo expressed gratitude to non-governmental organizations, churches and individuals who had been supporting the Hospital and appealed for more support especially with edible items and also to adopt some of the wards.

The Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital was built in June 1965. The 500-bed Hospital serves the Central, Western and Ashanti Regions as well as some neighbouring countries.

Source: XYZ
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