President John Mahama has said the indefinite strike at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital has not been brought to his attention.
Though he admitted the mental aspect of the health sector requires some help from government, he was not aware the only mental hospital in Accra has issues with finance and medical supplies.
“It hasn’t come to my attention, but I do know that the area of mental health is one of the areas where we need to focus our attention [because] our Psychiatrists tell us that all of us have a bit of madness in us and that somehow we all have some mental disorder or the other so it means that it is something that we need to pay attention to,” he said.
President Mahama made these remarks during an exclusive interview on Koforidua based Sunrise FM Tuesday.
The Accra Psychiatric Hospital has been battling with issues such as the absence of funds and medical supply for some months now.
On October 31, nurses of the Hospital declared an indefinite strike over what they said were the unsafe environment they have been compelled to work in and the non-availability of key logistics.
A statement signed by the Chairperson of the aggrieved nurses association said, “There is a massive shortage of basic logistics needed to carry out our professional duties such as gloves, spirit, dressing solutions, face masks, plastic, sterile, cotton and gauze, detergents among others.”
According to them, the absence of these logistics “exposes the staff and patients to the unnecessary risk of cross-infections.”
But when quizzed if the challenges of the nurses at the Hospital have been brought to his attention, the President responded in the negative.
He said remedial actions would have been taken by the government had his office been served with the information. That notwithstanding, he said government would act on them.
"We will take immediate steps to resolve the issue at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital and I am going to call the Minister of Health after this programme to see what the issues are and how we will resolve them.”
President Mahama delved into the new Mental Health Bill, saying his government is committed to its implementation to ensure no Ghanaian is denied access to good healthcare.