New schemes to treat mentally ill in government hospitals

The State government has taken steps to ensure district hospitals are well-equipped to treat and rehabilitate at least 40 mentally ill patients at any given point in time.

As a part of the recently launched Maanasadhaara scheme, district hospitals will soon lay the groundwork to cater to at least 20 men and 20 women patients.
Besides, a proposal has also been put forth for at least one rehabilitation centre in each district.

Speaking to Deccan Herald Dr Ashok Pai, chairperson of the Karnataka State Mental Health Task Force, said that under the new Maanasadhaara and Manochaitanya schemes that would soon be implemented, patients will have to attend counselling sessions with family members. “There will also be skill development programmes for patients. Patients can learn music, drawing, or even yoga,” he added.

Dr Pai explained that facilities under this scheme will be on a par with that available at Manasa Hospital, a 100-bedded hospital in Shimoga.

He said that the scheme will be implemented on a public-private partnership model and added that each centre will be set up at the cost of Rs 1.60 lakh.

Considering that not many beds would be available at government hospitals, an additional Rs 20,000 would be granted for private organisations, individuals who volunteer to attend the event.

Further, daycare and rehabilitation centres in all districts would cost an estimated Rs 57,85,200 each year, as per the proposal submitted.

Under the Manochaitanya scheme, treatment for mentally ill patients would be made available once a week.

“Specialists would be made available at all primary health centres, primary health units, district hospitals and other government hospitals,” Dr Pai explained.

He added that at the recent State Psychiatrists’ Society Conference, psychiatrists working in the private sector were asked to come forward and offer services at government hospitals on Tuesdays.

Drug procurement

Following requests for hassle-free supply of medication, procurement of drugs has now been made easy.

“Unlike other illnesses, each dosage of medication is crucial for mentally ill patients. Thus, a special plan has been designed to ensure hospitals do not run short of drugs,” Dr Pai added. Usually, for procurement of drugs, an indent is sent to the district health officer, who then forwards it to the Karnataka State Drug Logistics and Warehousing Society, following which drug companies are contacted for supply.
However, now, with direct contact with drug companies, timely procurement and uninterrupted supply of drugs can be ensured.

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