09 August 2016 Current Affairs: Rajya Sabha has passed the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 on 8 August 2016. The Bill repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987.
The upper house passed the bill with record 134 amendments.
The Bill provides for mental health care and services for persons with mental illness. It also has a provision to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services.
Features of the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 : It states that every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government. The right to access mental health care includes affordable, good quality of and easy access to services.
Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, free legal services, and access to their medical records, and complain regarding deficiencies in provision of mental health care.
Mental Health Establishments : It states that every mental health establishment should be registered with the relevant Central or State Mental Health Authority. For being registered, the establishment will have to fulfill various criteria prescribed in the Bill. It specifies the process to be followed for admission, treatment and discharge of mentally ill individuals.
It leaves the decision of admission in the mental health establishment to the person with the mental illness except in case where he/she is unable to make an independent decisions or conditions exist to make a supported admission unavoidable.
Mental Health Review Commission and Board : The commission will be a quasi-judicial body that will periodically review the use of and procedure for making advance directives and advice the government on protection of the rights of mentally ill persons. It with the concurrence of the state governments, constitute Mental Health Review Boards in the districts of a state. Powers conferred to the board includes : Register, review/alter/cancel an advance directive,Appoint a nominated representative,Adjudicate complaints regarding deficiencies in care and services
Receive and decide application from a person with mental illness/his nominated representative/any other interested person against the decision of medical officer or psychiatrists in charge of a mental health establishment.