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CID dumps suspects at psychiatric Hospital -Nurse laments.

Aside not getting enough funds to cater for patients, Mr Eugene Amponsah Danquah, a Senior Staff Nurse at the Special Ward of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital has revealed to The Chronicle that the shirking of responsibility by the Criminals Investigation Department (CID) Officers has turned the ward into a prison.

According to the Mr Danquah, the refusal and lack of interest that the CID has exhibited in the handling of the mental patients over the years, has caused overcrowding, as patients are made to stay longer than they are supposed to.

'We have people in prison who were supposed to be on remand, but because the CID doesn't follow up, they remain there forever. That is what is happening at this ward. It's like you are serving a jail sentence. The CID personnel don't follow up.

'We have people who have spent close to 18 years and are still here. They have been cured but they can't be discharged because we don't have the mandate to do so,' he said.

Explaining how the procedure of discharging patients work, the Senior Staff Nurse who has been working at the hospital for five years but has been at the ward for a year, said that the special ward, which forms part of the 18 wards at the hospital was built to cater for individuals who committed crime but are of unsound mind.

'For instance, if a person goes to kill and the court realises that the individual is not acting normal, the court then brings the person to the ward for observation', he explained.

He stated that the CID officials were usually the ones who bring the patients to the ward and hence are responsible for discharging them.

But over the years, the officials have refused following up on the patients, a situation that has caused most cured patients to stay at the ward longer than expected.

He indicated that the ward, which consists of two dormitories, eleven cubicles, three stores and a seclusion room was constructed to accommodate eighty patients at a time, but it now houses 136 patients.

Out of these 136 patients, 111 were brought in by CID officials from the court, while the remaining ones were brought in by family and friends and benevolent Ghanaians.

'If the CID were to follow up on these 111 patients, it would have saved us some space', he said.

Aside the CID officials causing overcrowding, Mr Amponsah also observed that stigmatisation was one of the factors causing overcrowding at the ward.

According to him, 'people are not willing to go home because of the fear of being discriminated against by society and would rather stay here'.

Mr Amponsah also bemoaned the lack of infrastructural development not taking place at the hospital. He indicated that ever since the establishment of the hospital in 1904, it has not seen any major renovation and called on authorities to demolish the structure and rebuild it.

But aside Mr Amponsah, the Director of the Hospital has also called for the demolition of the building. She indicated that aside the treatment of patients, the hospital also trains health personnel hence deserves an ultra-modern facility.

She said an ultra-modern facility would even help people recover from their illness earlier and reduce the stigma that's being attached to the place.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Date:Dec 20, 2018
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