Government is ready to “rock and roll” on the issue of the decentralisation of mental health.

The “concrete” plan would see “eventually” the decommissioning of St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital and the construction of a new “centrally located, major” mental health facility, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said as he contributed to the budget debate in the House of Representatives yesterday.

Deyalsingh said the big issue in health these days was mental health which was becoming the “new NCD” (non-communicable disease) and needed to be tackled with the same vigour with which Government was addressing the problem of diabetes.

He said he wanted to tell the country what has been happening over the past two years “so it does not seem like a knee jerk reaction to what happened in Arouca”.

Police raided Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre last week and removed 69 patients, citing unsatisfactory conditions such as patients being kept in cages.

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Satnarayan Maharaj left an indelible mark on Trinidad and Tobago through his bravery, courage, fight for justice and achievements. Maharaj, 88, secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) died on Saturday after suffering a stroke on November 7.

Satnarayan Maharaj was yesterday likened to late freedom fighter Martin Luther King by Prof Selwyn Cudjoe. Cudjoe was speaking at Maharaj’s funeral service held at Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College, St Augustine.

“Ram Naam Satya Hai!” The chant, which means “the name of God is true”, rose as the body of Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) secretary-general Satnarayan “Sat” Maharaj was gently placed on the burning pyre at the Caroni Cremation site yesterday.

THE country has to get serious about tax collection and healthcare delivery. This was the message from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, as he emphasised the importance of taxes for purposes such as healthcare during the sod-turning cere­mony for the new Central Block at the Port of Spain General Hospital yesterday.