December 15, 2018
The Honourable Chief Minister,
Government of Punjab.
Subject:- PSYCHIATRY SERVICES AT MEDICAL COLLEGES, TEACHING HOSPITALS/ DISTRICT HEALTH
(WITH REFERENCE TO SUO MOTO CASE NO.32 OF 2018.)
In the light of above subject I, on behalf of Pakistan Psychiatric Society appreciate your visit to Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH) Lahore on 24th August, 2018 and shared the precious moments of Eid with the Psychiatric patients. First Lady of Pakistan Bushra Bibi during her visit to Fountain House Lahore on 11th November, 2018 expressed the feelings as ‘It truly brings happiness to me today.’ It clearly reflects the vision of your esteemed government towards Psychiatric Patients reiterated by the Judicial activism shown by the Hon’able Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
I, on the behalf of Pakistan Psychiatric Society would like to present my opinion that:
- After 18th Amendment, Health is a provincial subject, and Mental health is an integral part of Health. But as per the advertisement regarding projects to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Punjab on 16th November 2018 at Dera Ghazi Khan Medical College, the discipline of Psychiatry has been completely ignored.
- Institute of Mental Health Punjab is serving the community for many years now, if such institute are attached with teaching hospital, it will further enhance their potential/capacity to serve. Discipline of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences should be a central part of every teaching hospital as well as Medical College/University as per the revised decision of Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) and international requirements.
- District level hospitals, if equipped with the facilities of Mental Health Professionals (Psychiatrist, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist etc.) will help in reducing the burden of psychiatric morbidity which is at alarming high (34%)
- Drug Addiction is another challenge, our young nation is facing in the form of medical, psychological as well as social issues. Unfortunately, till today, we lack state of the art facility to cater this issue.
Therefore, as per Mental Health Act, Section-7 (b & c) this is high time to establish sub specialties
- Rehabilitation Centers for Drug Addiction,
- Child & Adolescents Mental Health Facility,
- Psychogeriatric Mental Health Facility
- Forensic Psychiatric Services
- Learning Disability & Community Base Services
This will not only fulfill the province’s need of mental health professionals but at the same time help instill positive mental health in the form of civic sense and awareness regarding rule of law at simultaneously.
Honourable Chief Justice is taking swift action to promote mental health, otherwise our Institutions may not have International recognition.
PROF. DR. M. IQBAL AFRIDI FCPS, FRCP
President Pakistan Psychiatric Society
Dean, of JPMC
Head, Department of Psychiatry &
Behavioural Sciences, JPMC/ JSMU, Karachi.