New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission ,NHRC) said on Wednesday that all the 46 Govt. Mental Healthcare Institutions across the country are in deplorable conditions and depict pathetic handling by the different stakeholders.
“The inhuman conditions of the mental health institutes recorded present affairs amounting to infringement of the human rights of mentally ill patients. The cured patients are being kept illegally in the hospitals. There is an acute shortage of doctors and staff,” said the NHRC.
The NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of the matter and has issued notices to the Union Health & Family Welfare Secretary, Director General of Health Services, Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries, Health, Director General of Police and Commissioner of Police in the metropolitan cities of all the State Governments as well as Union Territories, Directors of 46 mental institutions across the country. Government is to issue a reply within six weeks.
The commission said that its observations have come on the basis of the visits of the Full Commission to the four government hospitals in Gwalior, Agra, and Ranchi, and the remaining 42 by its Special Rapporteurs in various parts of the country.
The Human rights commission has asked the State Chief Secretaries, Secretaries of Health, and UT Administrators to submit an Action Taken Report on 11 points.
Cured patients being kept illegally in mental hospitals; formation of a Mental Health Authority, State Mental Health Review Board, State Mental Health Care Rules, and State Mental Health Care Regulation; allocation and funds; State of the infrastructure; Status of the recruitment process of the health professionals; Measures taken to ensure de-crowding of mental hospitals; Appointment of Professors; Status of emergency services; Statistics to be provided regarding discharged patients of last five years; Government-sanctioned amount for food and actual payment; Financial or social audit report of last three years.
The statement further stated that none of the institutes has taken effective and long-term measures to ensure that a mentally ill person can exercise his right to community living unfettered, unchallenged and/or without any hindrance.