Open Letter To:
Health Committee Chairman, Parliament.
Minister of Health.
CEO, Mental Health Authority.
Ama and Kofi, also many others are from very typical rural communities where telecommunication access is very bad, road network very poor, family support is very poor, living standard is nothing to write home about.
These clients have various MENTAL Illnesses , the nearest Health Centre close to them with MENTAL HEALTH UNIT is not accredited with NHIA to prescribe Mental drugs to them with NHIS Card hence must either come all the way to the three PSYCHIATRIC Hospitals in Ghana to have access to drugs NHIS Card can cover or stay in home to default treatment and relapse because they don’t have any money to foot the travelling costs every month.
In the other hands, Kwabla and Adjoa , together with many others are in the cities with good telecommunication network access, easy access to transport and social amenities with good family support system. The PSYCHIATRIC Hospitals there have their NHIS Card covered hence often get their monthly drugs free , so it is assumed their default rate and relapses will be very minimal as compared to their counter parts in the deprived rural areas.
Taking cognisant of the two scanerios cited above, which of the two categories of the Mental Clients deserved NHIS Card to cover their monthly drugs treatment schedules?
It is based on the aforementioned facts that I am appealing to the policy makers to as a matter of urgency include all Antipsychotic drugs, Anti Epileptic/ Neurological drugs , and many others in the NHIS Card so that those vulnerable clients in the deprived areas won’t rather be at the bad ends of the policies of NHIA.
It is a known fact that all Health Centres in the country have Physician Assistants and Mental Health Units, so it will be appropriate these drugs are covered at all levels raging from Psychiatric hospitals, Metropolitan, Municipal, District, Polyclinic and Health Centre Mental Units so together we can have total national coverage of our mental clients with effective treatment plans.
Having laid bare my argument, I call on the Health Committee in Parliament to effect a bill to that effect to help amend the NHIS policies to cover our mental clients at all levels of health care service delivery.
As parliament resumed their sittings, I am of optimism that before we end the year, there should be policies change to effect that inclusion.
Mental Health: Total Health.
Bismark Kwabla Kpobi
Senior Mental Health Nurse/ Practitioner.
Mental Health advocate.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana