Monday, May 29, 2017
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The government through the Health Ministry has allocated funding to establish a special mental health clinic, with an appropriate site now in the process of being identified.

Health Ministry has allocated funding to establish a special mental health clinic.

General Director of the National Hospital Jose Antonio said he was not aware of the total budget for the project, but appreciated the government’s initiative as the facility was much needed.

He said the design and BOQ had now been completed, but construction had yet to get underway.

Up until now, mental health patients usually always present to the public emergency room, but he hoped that once the clinic was established there would be a separate service.

Although there is currently no specialized clinic in Timor-Leste, he said the National Hospital continues to work with civil society, including Psychosocial Recovery and Development In East Timor (PRADET) and Sao Joao de Deus, a treatment center in Laclubar, to support mental health patients.

Data from the Ministry of Health showed that in 2015 there were 1948 people registered as suffering from a mental illness, comprising 1059 female and 889 male patients.

Member of Commission F (responsible for health, education, culture, veteran affairs and gender equality) Leonel Marçal said it was necessary to have a separate facility as the statistics were high and mental health patients also had a right to access treatment.

“Those people do not often get proper treatment in the family, so the state has an obligation to take care and provide good and proper treatment for them,” he said.

He said mental health was an issue for all of society, not just the health sector and that some patients were able to recover with proper treatment and family support.

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