Friday, 19 Jan 2018

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Cabinet approved draft of National Mental Health bill

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Health Desk: 03 January 2018: The Cabinet has approved the draft of National Mental Health bill, 2017 keeping provisions of rigorous punishment for setting up and running mental hospitals without licenses and provoking any mental patient to commit crime.

The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet held on Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s Office in the city with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reports UNB.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the draft law having 28 sections is better updated and modified to replace the 105-year-old one, ‘The Lunacy Act 1912’, which is now dealing with those who are mentally disordered.

Citing section 24 of the draft law, Shafiul Alam said, “Any individual or company running mental hospital without having licence will have to face a Tk five lakh as fine or a three-year term imprisonment or both. And in case of repetition of the same offence, the punishment will be maximum Tk 20 lakh or a five-year imprisonment or both.”

The Cabinet Secretary said the proposed law defined mental patient as anyone who is mentally disabled, or not able to understand one’s own potentiality, or a drug addicted person who is not able to run or earn his or her normal livelihood.