8-Jul-2013, J. VENKATESAN
A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose sought the response on a petition filed by the National Human Rights Commission highlighting the problems faced by the mental hospitals.
The NHRC said, “The mental health hospitals in the country are facing serious financial constraints as adequate resources allocation is not being made to meet their requirements. The Centre and State governments should accord priority in allocation of financial resources both for the regular maintenance and upgrade of the physical infrastructure of these institutions. There is need to undertake a country-wide epidemiological survey to identify the magnit ude of the problem of mental health.”
It said many of the hospitals were 100 to 150-years old and they did not receive the same priority as general health. “These institutions should be made completely autonomous in managing their own affairs. Existing State-run mental health hospitals should be converted into teaching-cum-training institutes with adequate financial and manpower resources.”
It further said:
“There is need to train an integrated team of psychiatrists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, clinical pathologists, psychiatric social workers and nurses required to manage mental hospitals. Psychiatry and mental healthcare should be made a compulsory independent subject in the MBBS examination so that young medical professionals become capable of identifying the problem at the initial stage itself.
“Removal of all deficiencies in the existing mental hospitals with regard to the living conditions, providing nutritious and balan ced food, water supply, cleanliness and hygiene, environment, sanitation, etc, in a time bound manner must receive top attention of the State government/Union territory concerned.”
SC notice on plea seeking survey on mental health problems
NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the central and state governments on a plea by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking a country-wide epidemiological survey to identify the magnitude of mental health problems.
The apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose issued notice on an application contending that a survey on the magnitude of the problem of mental health was “necessary and desirable (so) that a perspective plan covering the task, financial implication, time frame … is drawn up keeping in view the present as well as the future requirements”.
The NHRC’s application said “at present no clear picture of the magnitude of the problem of the mental health in the country is available”.
“In the absence of clear data base, proper policy interventions and allocation of resources is not receiving due priority,” the NHRC application said.
The apex human rights body said that in the absence of adequate allocation of resources, the mental health institutions and hospitals were unable to meet their requirement.
Advocating allocation of adequate resources, the human rights body said that the central and state governments should “accord priority in allocation of financ ial resources both for the regular maintenance and upgradation of the physical infrastructure of these institutions”.