A surge in cases of abandoned psychiatric patients across various cities within the state has prompted a decisive action. State Health Minister Prof. Dr. Tanaji Sawant has issued a crucial directive ensuring that destitute mental patients can be admitted and treated at psychiatric hospitals at any hour. Consequently, all psychiatric hospitals throughout the state are now mandated to remain operational 24 hours a day.
Representatives from the Smile Plus Social Foundation, an organization dedicated to aiding destitute mental patients in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune regions, convened with Health Minister Sawant at Mantralaya. During this meeting, the foundation’s concerns were comprehensively discussed. Notably, the plight of orphaned psychiatric patients seeking timely and appropriate treatment was deliberated upon.
Historically, such patients were required to secure a court order before gaining admission to psychiatric hospitals for treatment, leading to potential delays. In light of this, Health Minister Sawant has directed healthcare officials and medical practitioners to streamline this process, prioritizing prompt and efficient treatment for orphaned psychiatric patients.
The previous practice, wherein psychiatric hospitals operated until noon, has now been supplanted by Sawant’s directive for continuous 24-hour operation across all psychiatric hospitals in the state.
Commenting on this development, Tanaji Sawant affirmed, “A mandate has been issued for all psychiatric hospitals in the state to remain operational around the clock, facilitating the treatment of destitute mental patients. Additionally, we will soon launch a helpline service to facilitate the reporting of such cases and ensure timely intervention.”
Yogesh Malkhare, a representative from the Smile Plus Social Foundation, expressed gratitude for the Health Minister’s swift response. He remarked, “We submitted a proposal to the Health Minister two days ago. He promptly convened a meeting, carefully assessed our concerns, and acted upon them.
His decision to enforce 24-hour operations in psychiatric hospitals across the state is a significant step toward addressing the needs of orphaned psychiatric patients.”
In furtherance of this initiative, the Health Minister has directed the establishment of provisions to facilitate the transportation of homeless mental patients to mental hospitals via ambulances from any city within the state. Moreover, Health Minister Dr. Sawant has instructed the formulation and submission of new regulations outlining the treatment protocols for orphaned psychiatric patients by August 15.