Budget 2018: Like TB patients, psychiatrists demand monetary aid for patients with mental illness

On Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech announced about allocation of Rs 600 Crore nutritional support to TB patients in the country. As per experts, similar provisions should be made for patients suffering from mental illnesses

Budget 2018: Like TB patients, psychiatrists demand monetary aid for patients from mental illness
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  • Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs and weakens the immune system. Today, Rs 600 Crore nutritional support to TB patients in the country was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech.
  • Similarly, the experts too demanded provision for patients suffering with mental illness.

Dr Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist and youth-wing president, of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Maharashtra Chapter said, “Mental health has been the backbone of the budget. But, only one per cent of the budget encompasses the same. In India, more than 6 crore people are suffering from depression. There are no specific provisions, adequate de-addiction centres or large scale psychiatric hospitals. So, more hospitals should be set-up. The government should equally focus on the mental health which is the need of the hour.”

Dr Om Prakash, Assoc Professor, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) said, “In similar lines of providing financial support to TB patients, Rs 500 per month per patient can be given to mentally ill patients for visiting and receiving treatment from nearest government health facility as part of implementation of Mental HealthCare Act.”

As per Dr Avinash Desousa, co-founder of Desousa Foundation “There should be some provisions from the patients with the mental illness as well. Apart from that there should be funds allocated just like you have programmes which sponsor TB treatment. Similarly, there should be programmes to sponsor medical treatment for psychiatric illness as well. Along with the medical insurance.”

Anupriya Patel, the Minister Of State In The Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare stated that, Nearly 1 in 40 and 1 in 20 person suffer from past and current depression, respectively and nearly 50 per cent of persons with major depressive disorders reported difficulties in carrying out their daily activities.

Neurosis and stress related disorders affect 3.5 per cent of the population and was reported to be higher among females (nearly twice as much in males).

Nearly 50 per cent of persons with major depressive disorders reported difficulties in carrying out their daily activities.