Hospital majors see National Health Policy & Mental Health Bill as paradigm shift in patient services

April 19, 2017

Indian healthcare providers from Cytecare to Fortis La Femme among others have viewed that the Union government’s National Health Policy and the Mental Health Bill are paradigm shift in patient services.

Cytecare is an organ-site based cancer network of hospitals. Fortis La Femme a chain of women and child medical centres along with other healthcare providers have expressed the two bills are much wanted to spur the growth of medical services.

According to Suresh Ramu, chief executive officer, Cytecare Hospital, the revision in the national health policy is a landmark event as this has been revised in India after 14 years. The policy highlights the increased spend in healthcare which will go up to 2.5% of GDP, hopefully in the next 5 to 10 years. As a cancer care hospital, the policies introduced for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are of prime importance to us.

The policy also recognizes that there are certain types of cancers which can be addressed early through screenings. The proposition to train ASHA workers across the country for oral, breast and cervical cancer treatment is a great initiative as it will help early detection and reduce mortality rate even in the lower strata of the society. As a lot of patients rely on treatment from private institutions, managing costs for generic drugs and medical devices will be hugely beneficial. Along with this, we need to ensure that the cost of diagnostics and medical equipment is also controlled, he added.

Moving on to the approval of the Mental Health Bill, the government will endorse Bengaluru-based National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) as a mentor for similar institutions across the country .

“This legislation is a paradigm shift in how people with these disorders are treated in the country. We hope, it will go a long way in removing the stigma surrounding mental disorders and in ensuring that such people will receive appropriate support from the society, said Dr. Pallab Maulik, Deputy Director and Head of Research and Development, George Institute for Global Health India.

However, just passing a new law is not enough. We need to ensure that everyone especially the caregivers as well as the police and other stakeholders in society are sensitised to this new paradigm that sees a person with mental disorder as someone having the same rights as everyone else in society and makes it incumbent upon society to provide those rights. The much-awaited Bill is a key legislation providing stakeholders a better understanding to tackle the rights of people with mental disorders, he added.

The George Institute has been working to identify and treat common mental disorders like depression, anxiety and suicide risk and address the stigma attached to mental health. We have created an atmosphere in our project areas where people can talk about any mental disorder. The World Health Organisation too has made Depression, let’s talk as the theme of the World Health Day this year, he said 

Dr. Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist, Director-Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis La Femme, said that the mental care bill is significant step forward. Its implementation will require the support of various stakeholders and it would be a challenging process.

For Mental health to reach all, the PPP model could ensure such patients get received the treatment and are able to lead a good life, he added.