The Government Hospital for Mental Care (GHMC), the only state-run hospital of psychiatry in Andhra Pradesh, is set to be
transformed into a Centre of Excellence. The state government has already sanctioned Rs10 crore in the first phase
to initiate the work. The entire project will cost Rs 38 crore. Of this, the state’s share is Rs 9.9 crore towards capital works, technical and nontechnical equipment, library and staff support.
The aim of setting up Centres of Excellence project under National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) is to address the manpower deficit in the psychiatry department throughout the country and upgrade the hospitals with more departments and academic blocks such as psychiatric nursing, psychiatric social work and clinical psychology, pediatric and geriatric wards, equipment and rehabilitation centers.
Being the only government mental care center in the entire region, the 300-bed hospital gets 60,000-65,000 patients annually,
not just from AP but also from neighboring states.
Elaborating on the project, hospital superintendent Dr. S Radharani said, “Of the initial grant of Rs 10 crore, Rs 8 crore will be
spent towards infrastructure development and Rs 2 crore towards equipment. We are planning to get CT scan and MRI
machines, for which we have to send patients to KGH at present.
We will also bring a lithium analyzer machine for serum analysis. As part of infrastructure development plans, we will add child psychiatric wards and geriatric patients wards, rehabilitation block and an academic block as well as hostels for students and faculty. Within two-three months, Andhra Pradesh Medical Service & Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC) is likely to complete the tender process and we are planning to complete the entire project within two years.”
“The academic block that is to come upon five-seven acre land next to GHMC, will include three new departments —
psychiatric nursing, psychiatric social work, and clinical psychology. A one-year diploma will be provided to 40 nursing students
per year or those who have done BSc in nursing. The clinical psychology and social work departments would offer two-year
MPhil courses to 15 students per year in each department. The block would have classrooms, counseling and faculty rooms
and lecture halls. The land is also available for hostel buildings near our family wards and opposite ENT Hospital,” added the
Considering that there is a dearth of psychiatric nurses, social workers, and clinical psychologists under the NMHP all across
India, 23 institutes have been selected from over the country to be set up as Centre of Excellence and develop manpower and
infrastructure facilities. Thirteen of them has got the tag in 2008-09, while the other 10 centers, including GHMC
Visakhapatnam received the sanction in the last two years.