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The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:A Radical Step Towards Sound Mental Health in India
The long awaited Mental Healthcare Act, 2016 received the assent of President of India on 7th April 2017, can be considered as a radical step for the purpose of providing for the right to better healthcare for mentally ill patients and decriminalizes attempt to commit suicide. The Act not only ensures every person`s right to have an access to mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government but it also guarantees free treatment for all such persons who are homeless or belong to Below Poverty Line, even in the absence of BPL card. This act further reads for setting up of Central Mental Health Authority at national level and State Mental Health Authority in every State. The Act provides complete regulatory framework to fix accountability upon all the stakeholders who is either directly or indirectly dealing with mental health patients in India. This research paper attempts to examine the salient features of this act briefly and to understand the need and objectives sought to be achieved by the enactment of this Act. It furthers elaborates constitution of regulatory authorities, its powers and functions for the effective administration and implementation of this act. Finally this paper concludes in the light of some suggestion and recommendations.
Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, Accountability, Effective, Implementation, Regulatory Authority.
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