: Noting that 47 mental health hospital were not enough for a country like India with a population 136 crore, the Madras High Court directed the Union Government to establish more central institutions like NIMHANS at least in each zone of the country at the earliest.
“The Karnataka Mental Health Management System (e-Manas) has been developed to be compliant for implementation of the MHA, 2017, with provisions for registering of mental health establishments and mental health professionals, and also facilitates the functioning of the State Mental Health Authority and Mental Health Review Boards,” the bench noted.
The bench also asked the Union government and State governments to take efforts to have a taluk level psychiatrist in the taluk headquarters hospital.
It also added that the concept of having only mental hospitals to provide psychiatric care was an outdated one and that a majority of persons with mental illnesses could be managed in the community or through outpatient-care.
“There is acute shortage of psychiatrists and child psychiatrists. Therefore, every medical college should have Department of Psychiatry and should have Psychiatry PG course so that a greater number of psychiatrists would be produced,” the bench added. It also asked the government to sensitise the people about the availability of the insurance coverage to patients with mental illnesses.
The bench was passing orders on a plea seeking to set up a medical wing at either Tiruchy or Madurai central prisons with round-the-clock availability of treatment by the psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, psychiatric social workers, mental health nurses and other paramedical staff to treatment to prisoners with mental illness.