The government has instituted measures to transform mental health care delivery to commensurate with the status of a middle-level income country.
Dr Akwasi Osei, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority (MHA), announced this at the four-day Second Annual General Meeting of Community Psychiatric Officers (CPOs) and Community Mental Health Officers (CMHOs) at Kintampo.
Speaking on the topic “Career Progression for CPOs and CMHOs” at the meeting attended by 120 participants nation-wide, he said inadequate human resource at all levels of mental health delivery had been a major challenge.
Dr Osei he was optimistic that within the next five to 10 years with the measures being instituted there would be adequate human resources to operate to the satisfaction of the citizenry.
“In the next five to 10 years, we expect to train about 50 psychiatrists from the current 12, and 100 CPOs, 2,500 CMOHs, 2,000 Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN), 100 clinical psychologists, 6,000 psychiatric nurses and 20 occupational therapists.
“These personnel will man not just three psychiatric hospitals, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Pantang and Ankaful but 10 regional 40 to 50 bed psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric wings of teaching hospitals, district hospitals, and Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG)”.
Dr Osei said other measures include posting, recognition, remunerations, and salary structure to boost the morale of CPO and CMHO graduates from Kintampo College of Health.
He said job descriptions had been designed and negotiating with the Human Resource Directorate of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to resolve these challenges.
Dr Osei said the Board of Directors of the MHA was putting in place structures of the Mental Health Act and a technical draft of the Legislative Instrument (LI) has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Department and expressed the hope that it would be enacted this year to establish the Mental Health Fund.
Mr Zanu Dassah, the Ashanti Regional Human Resource Manager of the GHS, said the GHS had not encountered any difficulty with the posting of trainees but since introduction of the CMHO programme without recourse to placements, the Human Resource Directorate of MOH had experienced some difficulties.
“The problem is whether trainees in Community Health/Enrolled Nursing should be placed under Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) or not, because the NMC did not recognize the programme to register them,” he said.
Mr Dassah said after consultations CMHO trainees are placed in the same category as Technical Officers (TOs) but the CMHOs were not satisfied with the category.
He expressed concern about the non-involvement of HRD-GHS in the development of courses by the College and failure to provide sufficient information on qualified trainees as well as lack of knowledge on their expected roles.
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