CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanianissued the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance card for 520 inmates of Institute of Mental Health and commenced the opioid tablet treatment for 400 people enrolled for rehabilitation at the Institute of Mental Health on Friday.
The insurance cards were handed to the inmates for treatment through IMH. For those who provide a proof of address and proof of an annual income of Rs 1.2 lakh or less, the government issues insurance scheme cards.
However, 520 people, including 311 men and 209 women, have received insurance programme cards from the hospital without producing these documents. Subsequently, the scheme is also set to operate across all districts in Tamil Nadu.
The Health Minister said that the institute has 1,800 beds, 350 patients receiving care each day, and 4,500 patients receiving treatment on an annual basis. In addition, there are 400 private and 43 government rehabilitation facilities operating in Tamil Nadu for mentally challenged people.
"Additionally, 13 locations have Emergency Care and Recovery Centers (ECRCs) set up for the helpless. According to the programme, mentally ill individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds receive Rs. 1000, while those who are mentally challenged receive Rs. 1500," he said.
Regarding the TNIMHANS, he said that upgradation work worth up to Rs. 21 crore and a building and research centre of Rs. 40 crore is being developed. By doing this, the hospital's infrastructure would be improved to match DHIMHANS' in Karnataka," he said.
IMH has also begun offering opioid substitution therapy (OST) in a first of its kind approach with TANSACS of the National AIDS Control in a Government Mental Hospital. There are 400 addicts enrolled in rehabilitation, of whom 5 have HIV and 2 have tuberculosis. Opioid Substitution Therapy has been initially given for 35 patients.
"Drug users with AIDS make up 6.2 per cent of the national average and 1.25 per cent of the population in Tamil Nadu. About Rs 11 lakh is expected to be spent on the government scheme, which will significantly improve the lives of those battling addiction," said the minister.