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‘Govt Mental Health Intitutions keep cured patient illegally’: NHRC

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday sought a detailed report from the Union Health Ministry along with other concerned faculties after learning that the cured patients are being kept “illegally” at Government Mental Healthcare Institutions.

This comes after the commission receieved a report depicting “deplorable condition” and “pathetic handling” at all the 46 Government Mental Healthcare Institutions across the nation.

In a press release issued by the NHRC, it said, “The inhuman and deplorable conditions of the mental health institutes recorded by it across the country, present sorry states of affairs amounting to infringement of the human rights of mentally ill patients.”

The Commission’s observations have come on the basis of the visits of the Full Commission to the four government hospitals in Gwalior, Agra, Ranchi, and the remaining 42 by its Special Rapporteurs in various parts of the country recently to assess the situation on the ground and the status of the implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

The reports of the visits have prompted the commission to take suo motu cognizance of the matter and issue notices to the Union Health along with concerned authorities, asking for a detailed report.

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Details to be submitted: (i) How the cured patients are being kept illegally in mental hospitals by curtailing their liberty. All such patients are to be sent back to their homes/halfway homes and dealt with in accordance with in violation of the provisions of Section 19 of the Act, 2017;

(ii) Status of formation of Mental Health Authority, State Mental Health Review Board, State Mental Health Care Rules, and State Mental Health Care Regulation;

(iii) Budgetary allocation and funds released with regard to the mental health institutions;

(iv) State of the infrastructure of the institutes, plan for improvement of the buildings which include various amenities;

(v) Status of the recruitment process of the Health professionals including hospital staff; time frame for that;

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(vi) Measures taken to ensure de-crowding of mental hospitals/institutes and create a conducive atmosphere for stay including proper hygiene;

(vii) Appointment of Professors for the course of M.Phil wherever it is necessary with an adequate number of teaching staff;

(viii) Status of emergency services, maintenance of electronic data and medical records, measures and initiatives were taken for reintegration and rehabilitation of the cured patients;

(ix) Statistics to be provided regarding discharged patients of last five years and their rehabilitation, reunion with the family or community, how many of them have become new inmates again, and status of number of such persons staying in the hospital with reasons thereof;

(x) Government-sanctioned amount for food and actual payment;

(xi) Financial or social audit report of last three years.

 

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