NHRC calls for urgent attention to Kuthiravattom mental health centre

Friday, Jul 3, 2015,19:27 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kozhikode | Stating the Government Mental Health Centre in Kozhikode is overcrowded, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today called for urgent government attention to resolve its burning issues.
Talking to reporters after culmination of NHRC team’s two-days visit to the Centre, acting Chairman Justice Cyriac Joseph said he found that more than 600 patients were housed in the 470 capacity British era building at the mental health centre at Kuthiravattom in the district.
About 24 to 26 patients were housed in a 12-member capacity hall in the dilapidated building constructed in 1872 on a 20-acre land, he said.
He said the Commission found that adequate facilities were not getting by the inamates in the centre because it was overcrowded.
He also called upon the government to direct the Health Minister to visit the centre and study the situation prevailing there.
This will help improve the functioning of the mental health centre, he said adding a report on the visit will be submitted to the Centre soon.
Underling the need for making it a modern mental health centre, he said ”if some one asks whether modern facilities existed there the reply will be in the negative.” But certain facilities are existed there, he said.
Procedural wrangles were another problem faced by the centre, he said.
Citing an instance Justice Joseph said the government had directed the Health Director to sanction Rs 14 lakh against local purchase of medicine but the fund has not yet been made available. The decision was taken at a meet presided over by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on October 28, 2014, he said quoting records.
He expressed satisfaction over a master plan prepared by the District Administration backed Panchayat and Social Justice Minister M K Muneer and M K Raghavan, MP, representing Kozhikode in the Lok Sabha, for development of the centre.
It would be proud project if the Kerala government implemented the master plan. On rehabilitation, he said the Commission had found that many patients who were recovered fully were not accepted by their relatives.
However, the family were prepared to accept the patients, who are employed gainfully, the Commision noted. Many inmates from other states are continuing in the centre as they cannot be rehabilitated for want of their addresses.
He said seven inmates involved in criminal cases and acquitted by court were also staying in the centre as the government had failed to constitute a committee to take a decision on their future.
As per the rule, the government constituted panel is empowered to release them or order their continued stay.
He also called for steps to digitizing hospital records and appointment of an anaesthasia assistant involvement of media and non-government organizations to create awareness among society on the issues faced by the centre.
The other members of the team were Dr Sham Sunder and District Sub Judge Biju.