Government Inks Pacts on Mental Healthcare

The State Government on inked pacts with Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of AIIMS-New Delhi to improve treatment of mental illness. NIMHANS will provide tele-mentoring and assist in capacity building of medical officers for case management of mental illness and basic emergency psychiatric care along with follow-up care at health facilities in all districts on hub and spoke model. Health Minister Pratap Jena said the Centre of Excellence for mental health at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack will be developed as a regional hub for supportive supervision and care of field functionaries. “The collaboration will help provide mental health care at the grassroots by specialists of NIMHANS. Capacity building, mentoring on case management and basic emergency care in psychiatry will be provided on virtual knowledge network through 4G phones or iPad/laptop,” he said.

The agreement with AIIMS will facilitate upgradation of nine de-addiction centres operational at Government Medical College and Hospital (MCH) at Cuttack, Berhampur and Burla besides the Capital Hospital in the City, Rourkela Government Hospital, District Headquarters Hospitals of Angul, Puri, Balangir and Mayurbhanj. Psychiatric specialists, trained medical officers and clinical psychiatrists will be given training and hand-holding support on fixed days in collaboration with NDDTC for case management at de-addiction centres through tele-medicine based services. The Health Minister said though the National Mental Health Program has been implemented since 2003-04, expansion of the scheme remained a challenge due to inadequate budgetary provision by the Centre. “The State Government decided to expand the program to all districts with its own resources adopting mental health as one of the integral component of primary health care. We have announced financial support for transportation of patients to referral centres,” he added. Health Secretary Dr Pramod Meherda and Director of Health Services Dr BK Brahma signed the MoUs with HOD of Psychiatric department, NIMHANS Prof Santosh Chaturbedi and HOD of Psychiatric department, AIIMS-New Delhi Prof Rakesh Chadha. – New Indian Express

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