Health / Weekend News

Mental health medication shortage at an end

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Patients in Belize who suffer from mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder can now receive medication at eight different locations in the country, after the Ministry of Health (MOH) ended the shortage of mental health medications.

Chief Executive Officer in the MOH, Dr. Peter Allen explained that the medication Resperidone is now available after the ministry sorted out the difficulty it had procuring the medicine.

“Because they are controlled and controlled not just by national legislation but by international legislation,” Allen said, “we’re having problems with the supply, because we couldn’t simply go over to for example, Mexico, buy some and bring it over.”

Allen also explained the the shortage, was the result of the ministrfy expanding is mental health services. The ministry he underscored traditionally had only one physiatrist.

However with multiple physiatrists in the country along with the network of psychiatric nurd practitioners, more medication was given out which exceeded the country’s allotted supplies.

Allen added that the ministry procured the medications by gathering from the mental health workers what their traditional consumption was and used those figures as the marker when ordering.

The medications had begun to go scarce in December of 2014, and became totally unavailable in March.

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