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Fuad: Sell St Ann’s as real estate

COREY CONNELLY Sunday, August 13 2017

Former Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital should be dismantled and the property sold as real estate.

He said Government could then use the money to construct outreach centres throughout the country. “I (during his stint as health minister) had started building one in Arima, a rehabilitation centre and also the Tacarigua old health centre, we were refurbishing it for child psychology because there is nowhere in this country that has proper diagnosis and treatment of children who are mentally ill,” he told Sunday Newsday.

He also said the buildings at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital were in a deplorable condition.

Khan raised the issue as he again appealed to the authorities to intensify their efforts in tackling mental health in the country. His position came after South West Regional Health Authority psychiatric/ mental health services regional manager Pooran Sankar recently announced there were approximately 11,000 people registered at outpatient clinics in the south-west region.

Khan had subsequently disputed the figures, saying it was actually about one in four people with mental illness in the south-west region in a population of between four to 600,000 residents. He said 80 per cent of the patients housed at St Ann’s Hospital did not need to be there.

“They are dumped there by their relatives and the relatives only come for them when they want to take out their pension or their disability at the end of the month. Take them to the bank, take the money and dump them back there.” Khan said when he was health minister he had told then social development minister Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh that the patients’ money should either have been given to the ministry or the psychiatric hospital to be managed.

Khan said mental illness was the foundation of many of the problems in society.

“But people. but people just write it off because a mentally ill person looks normal.

They don’t have a problem to look at physically but people with mental health issues look like normal people. But internally they sick.



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