Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton has signalled his intention for the reconstruction of the National Psychiatric Hospital (NPH) in Berbice as the Public Health Ministry begins implementation of the National Mental Health Action Plan 2015-2020.
Dr. Norton stated that the hospital should be rebuilt given its current state. However, the Ministry was prepared to renovate it in the meantime. He said that there were buildings in the hospital compound that were not functioning and the Ministry was working to reopen them.
Nevertheless, he stated that he will be lobbying for a modernized hospital soon. “I want to see a modern psychiatric hospital where persons go and leave cured,” he said, adding that guidelines for the admission, discharge, aftercare and ECT protocol were already finalized and implemented at the hospital.
Over the years, many non-governmental organizations and health organizations have condemned the state of mental health in Guyana. There were reports of overcrowding and deplorable conditions patients under which patients are forced to dwell in at the psychiatric hospital.
Many of the residents treated there have being living in the facility for a number of years; only a few of them leave within six months. This is seen as a major contributor to the overcrowding. There were also reports of shortage of mental health workers, social workers and psychologists at the hospital.
He noted further that the Mental Health Unit (MHU) visited New Amsterdam for the implementation of MHAP 2015-2020 and the transformation process of the NPH. The unit also conducted visits to Baramita and Bartica for the integration of mental health care into the primary level.
Norton explained that mutual relationships between the MHU and the Ministry’s departments and programs, Regional Health Authorities, existing mental health care services and community based organizations (including NGOs) were established to further advance the mental health action plan.
He added that the Ministry has established an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre at the hospital and has also improved the psychology service. Psychologist Service was also enhanced at the Georgetown Public Hospital along with the establishment of an alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility.
“The Plan of action for control and prevention of alcohol and substance abuse in public health was finalized… approval and printing are pending for early implementation”
He stated that primary health care workers and mental health professionals were trained by a team from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada between September and October, 2015 in mental health work.
Oct 15, 2018Eagles Basketball Club and Pacesetters played both matches contested on Saturday at the Burnham hard court in the Second and First Division of the Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur...
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