MPs call for more attention to Mental Health following alarming report
The chairperson Health Committee of Parliament, also MP for Koboko Municipality Dr Charles Ayume has proposed that Mental health should be captured as one of the Non-Communicable Diseases, NCDs in the Public Health (Amendment) Bill.
During the plenary on Tuesday, Dr Ayume told the house that the move will help prioritize mental health. He also noted that the country does not have enough psychiatrists to work on all mental health patients.
“Honorable Speaker, the Act does not superintend over private healthcare facilities, so most of the mentally ill patients are left at the mercy of these people. And secondly, there are less than 60 psychiatrists in the country, it’s not a very attractive profession because most people think it is not well paying. That is why most referral hospitals do not have psychiatrists,” Dr Ayume said.
Speaker Anitah Among called for countrywide counselling services for people with Mental Health.
“Most of these people get these effects because of depression. And you know what people are going through after COVID19. You find somebody is not even sick, but because of the depression, school fees issues or someone is sick. We need special counselling for these people,” noted the Speaker.
Busia Municipality legislator; Hon Macho Geoffrey conquered with the Speaker on the counselling submission but also appealed to the government to allocate more resources towards Mental Health. He also underscored the need for counselling services to address Mental Health.
“I want to thank the media fraternity. Today’s New Vision headline was that 14 million Ugandans have Mental Health challenges including some people in the August House. Because, we have too many challenges and problems, from burial to fees. So when you see a Member of Parliament alone, you know there is a problem,” said Macho.
“And therefore madam Speaker I want to agree with you that we need counselling. But madam Minister, we request the government to put budgetary plans into the health budget concerning Mental Health. Because the money given to a unit of Mental Health is very little. We request this Unit to be upgraded to a Health Department.”