“Mental health services is nothing but a gross violation of principles of human rights”:Dr Orotaloa


NUMEROUS calls to upgrade an acute mental health inpatient services at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) to date have been ignored and overlooked by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

This is according to the Head of Integrated Mental Health Services, Dr. Paul Orotaloa.

He revealed to this paper that multiple calls for renovation have been made to the health Ministry but there has not been any favorable response.

Orotaloa said in regards to facilities, in 2006 the Mental Health Service Division was using a demountable building given to the NRH by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) unfortunately, it was closed down in 2012 due to natural building deteriorations.

“Since then, we have been begging for renovation, repair, upgrade and/or restoration of an acute care unit for these services to date without a single response from the MHMS/Govt” he said.

Orotaloa stressed that if there were any response of any sort from the government it was simply the countless tactics used to appease anyone following up on the issue.

He adds “so far, the government has launched the Mental Health Policy back in July aiming to working closely with its partners and the Mental Health Services to strengthening mental health services and awareness.

Additionally Orotaloa said the Mental Health department at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) was unable to officially commemorate the 2023 World Mental Health Day yesterday due to lack of funds.

He said that, he had approached the Ministry of Health and Medical services (MHMS) and was told there was no funds allocated for an official program this year as the government is focusing on other priorities like the upcoming pacific games. 

Dr. Orotaloa said he was disappointed as this reflects the government little concern for mental health issues

 “Today is another clear illustration of it not being a priority for the Gov’t as there is no funds for the celebrations this year because of other competing priorities such as the pacific games” he said.

Dr. Orotaloa added “People of Solomon Islands who need these services should not be ignored at all with their needs just because of a social event that needs to take place in the country”.

He said Solomon Islands as a member of the United Nation (UN) described the government’s unsupportiveness as a “gross violation”.

“Denying people of SI their rights to mental health services is nothing but a gross violation of principles of human rights which SI as a member of the UN has resolved to uphold against all odds” he said.

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