Mental Health Bill likely to be passed in Parliament session

116 students conferred degrees at Nimhans convocation

Mental Health Bill likely to be passed in Parliament session

 Union minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013, would be passed in the current session of Parliament. 

Speaking at the 18th convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) here, Azad said that the bill had several progressive features and seeks to protect the rights of people with mental illness. “It includes improving access to health care and health insurance and an individual’s right to decide the advanced course of treatment,” he explained. 

The minister said the Union government had plans of expanding the district mental health programme to around 300 more districts in the country under the 12th five-year plan. He said that under phase III of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), as many as 39 medical colleges would be upgraded at an estimated Rs 5,900 crore adding 8,000 more tertiary care beds. 

He said that there was a need for both basic and translational research. “We need research of the kind that helps extend services from project mode to programme mode,” he said. Dr P Satish Chandra, Director, Nimhans, said that with an allocation of Rs 2,800 crore under the 12th five-year plan, facilities such as long-term treatment, rehabilitation and mental health emergency services, helplines and public information services have been added under public-private partnership at different levels. 

On Wednesday, 116 students received various degrees from Nimhans. As many as 742 scientific articles were published in the present academic year, out of which 340 made it to the international journals. “Two patents for innovation have been filed by the neuro-oncology division of neuropathy,” Dr  Chandra said. Suresh Kumar Parmar who was awarded the R N Moorthy award for highest marks in MPhil, neurophysiology, said that the exposure to various subjects that he received at Nimhans was tremendous. 

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