NHRC Inducts Psychiatrist In Medical Panel
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02 September 2010
By Avanindra Mishra
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has inducted a former head of psychiatry department, SMS Medical College, Dr Shiv Gautam in its medical advisory committee. This is for the first time that NHRC has inducted a psychiatrist in the committee. Gautam will advise the NHRC on issues related to mental health.
The committee first met on Tuesday at New Delhi in which rights of psychiatric patients were discussed. "Mental health is a part of human rights and we will ensure that the patients are taken care of. It is for the first time that the NHRC has inducted a psychiatrist in its advisory panel and we expect more positive developments in this direction," Gautam said.
People with psychological disorders face difficult in getting proper care. The medical advisory board has taken a note of mental trauma of such patients.
"In many areas such patients recourse to pseudo treatment due to lack of public awareness. However, instead of treatment, these patients are often mistreated and suffer physical torture. We have recommended strict action against such people," Gautam said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also stressed on mental health as an integral part of basic rights. The United Nation General Assembly through a resolution passed in December 1991 has adopted principles for protection of people with mental illness.
According to the principles, all persons have the right to best available medical care in a nondiscriminatory environment. The dignity of such patients is also to be maintained and they should be saved from exploitation. The issue of protecting such patients from the pseudo practitioners shall soon be part of the NHRC guidelines.
"The minutes of the meeting will be finalised over the next couple of weeks by the NHRC and will be sent to the state governments for consideration," Gautam said.