SC asks govt response on mental hospitals

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre and state governments on a petition filed by the National Human Rights Commission, seeking direction to provide adequate financial aid and trained doctors to mental hospitals in the country.

A bench of justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Pinaki Chandra Ghose gave the Centre and states three weeks to file their responses.

The petition also sought direction to set up more autonomous hospitals to cater to people suffering from mental illness.

“The mental health hospitals in the country are facing serious financial constraints as adequate resources allocation is not being made to meet their requirements. The Centre and state governments should accord priority in allocation of financial resources both for regular maintenance and upgrading of physical infrastructure of these institutions,” the commission said.

It also said many mental hospitals are 100 to 150 years old and do not get the same priority as general health facilities.

Each state and Union Territory must have one mental health hospital, fully equipped with the latest equipment and sufficient medical and para-medical manpower, it said. Such hospitals should be made autonomous, it added.

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