(Analysis) Draft of the Mental Health Care Bill 2011 - Rising Debate

(Analysis) Draft of the Mental Health Care Bill 2011 - Rising Debate

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/Mental-Health-Care.jpgDrafted by the Ministry of Health and family welfare, the Mental Health Care Bill, 2011 seeks to provide for access to mental health care and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of persons with mental illness during the delivery of mental health care and services.

At times when the 'World Mental Health Day" is being observed across the globe, India has also shown its strong commitment by the draft of the bill which is no doubt a saviour for persons with mental illness and keeping it in compliance with the United Nations Convention for the Right of Person with Disabilities.

Although, the drafting team of the Bill and the Ministry have tried to accommodate various view points in the bill expressed during regional and National consultations, several group of activists working in the mental health sector are debating over several issues which according to them need special and urgent attention.

DebateSome of the issue raised by the activists are as follows:

(i) There should be more consultations on the bill and the final draft should be made public.

(ii) The draft bill seems to be more favourable for institutionalized care for those suffering from mental ailment rather than the de-institutionalized care. A strong urge is being made to initiate a process of de-institutionalization and main-streaming of people with disabilities who are currently in indefinite or lifelong incarceration.

(iii) One of the major concern with regards to the bill is that it has maintained status quo an mental asylums, while the right to choose or refuse the treatment has also been removed.

(iv) Even though there exists no test, body scanning or other empirical methods about the scientific validity of mental illness and in a situation where question about the scientific validity of psychiatry is being raised world over, the Mental Health Care Bill hands over power to psychiatrists to deprive a person's liberty. With the law under which a person can be kept inside a private asylum for two months, renewable after a day's parole, the business interest to private players in the mental health asylum is very evident.

Importance of the Article/News:

(1) Topic of Health Care and Government Initiatives
(2) Topic of Social relevance.
(3) Importance and Critical analysis of the Bill.
(4) Growing demand for de-institutionalized care.
(5) At times when India has participated actively in 65th World Health Assembly in July 2012, and successfully got the Mental included into the list of non communicable diseases. Is the initiative taken by the government sufficient enough to meet the challenge at National level?

Courtesy: The Hindu

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