July 19, 2024
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Psychiatric Association of Ghana advocates for integration of mental health care into NHIS

The Psychiatric Association of Ghana is advocating for the integration of mental health care into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The President of the Psychiatric Association of Ghana, Dr. Ruth Owusu-Antwi, says this would ensure equitable access to quality healthcare in the country.

She was speaking at the second annual general and scientific meeting of the association, which focused on protecting the fundamental human rights of persons with mental health disorders.

She said integrating mental healthcare into the NHIS would not only enhance the well-being of patients but would also exhibit the government’s commitment to ensuring that mental health services are at par with other healthcare services.

Dr. Owusu-Antwi also emphasized the need to ensure that individuals suffering from mental health disorders do not have their rights infringed upon.

She underscored the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues, advocating for greater awareness, and building a society where the rights of those with mental health disorders are respected and upheld.

“Having a mental health condition should never serve as a justification for depriving someone of their rights or excluding them from decisions pertaining to their own well-being”she stated.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Mental Health Authority, Professor Akwasi Osei reiterated the need for the rights of mental health patients to be protected.

He said “it is our collective responsibility to promote mental health as a fundamental human right. Discrimination and stigmatization have no place in a society that values every individual’s well-being.”

The Board Chairman of the National Health Insurance Authority, Dr. Ernest Kwadwo Puni Kwarko disclosed that plans are underway to include mental health treatment in the NHIS, to ensure universal health coverage.

The second annual general and scientific meeting was under the theme “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right.”

The meeting saw an array of professionals, experts, and stakeholders in the field of mental health converge to address critical issues surrounding mental health rights and access to care.

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