The government has announced it will bear the expenses for the treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill people.
Following the decision, an action plan has been brought to effect that will provide Rs 18,000 per month to rehabilitation centers and hospitals for the treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health and Population had brought the action plan to operate the rehabilitation programme for the mentally ill in order to ensure the rehabilitation of the mentally ill people who are facing mental problems and are deprived of treatment.
The action plan states that hospitals will get Rs 600 daily per person for the treatment of patients and rehabilitation centers will get Rs 500.
The Department of Health under the Health Ministry said that the action plan was prepared to implement the Public Health Act, which was formed to implement fundamental human rights mentioned in the Constitution. One such right, according to Article 36 of the Constitution, is the right to basic health care facilities.
Director General of the Department of Health Guna Raj Lohani added that the action plan was prepared to implement the sub-section 4(E) of section 3 of Public Health Act 2075 under Article 36 of the Constitution, which states that treatment services for the mentally ill should be provided for free.
According to Lohani“The action plan was brought for the treatment of mentally ill people as the state has said that access to health facilities is a fundamental right,”
According to the action plan, the government will also provide Rs 4,000 monthly for people who want to get treatment in the comfort of their own homes instead of going to a hospital or to a rehabilitation centre. This provision, however, is not for everyone.
“The government will provide Rs 4,000 monthly only if the mentally ill have to consume medicines that are not in the list of the free of cost medicines,” he said. “If people want to recover medicine expenses they have to authenticate the bill from the concerned agencies of the doctors involved in the treatment.”
According to Dr Ananta Adhikari, Chief Consultant at the Mental Hospital in Patan, judging from the number of patients who come to the hospital, around 300,000 people are suffering from serious mental diseases in the Valley.
He said that if the action plan is implemented effectively and immediately, then most of these people will be properly taken care of.
To be registered under the action plan, hospitals and institutions have to inform their respective, concerned local levels. The action plan also states that the local level should provide a written commitment of support to the institutions.