Dr. Akwasi Osei,
Dr. Akwasi Osei,

Ghana has taken steps to make up the shortfall in psychiatrists in the country, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health Authority Akwasi Osei has said.

In an interview with Xinhua, the chief psychiatrist said it was critical to bridge the gap, as the number of mental health patients has exceeded 20,000 across the country.

The authorities have been working to train more psychiatrists to ensure an equitable distribution of medical resources, but the shortfall still prevails.

“Ghana should have not less than 100 psychiatrists for a population of 30 million, but we have only 39,” Osei said.

To improve the situation, all graduates from medical schools are required to undertake a 6-month psychiatry duty, which the authorities think would generate more interest in this field.

Ghana has established a college of physicians and surgeons, where psychiatrists are being trained among other specialties.

The country passed the Mental Health Act in 2012 to create a new system of mental healthcare. Additionally, the mental health authority has also developed a 12-year strategic plan aimed at broadening the coverage of mental health care.

“Since the government alone cannot provide this financing, we are urging the finance ministry to draft a bill for the mental health levy to be passed, which will ensure a dedicated source of financing for mental health care,” he said. Enditem

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Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China's online international communication capacity. Established on November 7, 1997, as an online news provider of the Xinhua News Agency, it was officially named Xinhuanet on March 10, 2000 and began around-the-clock news release with leading online public opinion at home and setting a good image of China abroad as its main task.

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