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Legislation proposed for better care of mentally ill


A new legislation proposed by the union health ministry aims to improve the pitiable condition of the mentally ill. The proposed legislation makes it mandatory for doctors to attend the mentally ill who need emergency medical help.

For the first time such a law is proposed by the ministry. Mentally ill in India are generally ignored and are not looked after properly. Once the law is passed in parliament, it will be obligatory for the doctors to attend the patients.

As per Section 50 of the draft guidelines of “Mental Health Care Acts 2010” any medical treatment, including treatment for mental illness, may be provided by any registered medical practitioner to a person with mental illness either at a health facility or in the community to prevent death or irreversible harm to the health of the patient.

The proposed legislation also mentions that the patients would not undergo electro-convulsive therapy and strictly will not be chained. The legislation brings in the compulsion on government to provide the mentally ill with community based facilities like shelter homes for destitute and in case if shelter is not provided to them, their expenditure on the treatment given in private hospitals is supposed to be incurred.

Also government needs to ensure the health standards defined by WHO regarding infrastructures like ambulance, health insurance, trained doctors, nurses etc within ten 10 years from whenever the legislation is approved by the parliament.

The legislation is expected to reduce the troubles of mentally ill as so far the doctors often have refused them the treatment.

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