The High Court on Thursday directed the state government to file a statement on the deployment of adequate number of doctors and supporting staff to facilitate proper treatment of patients in mental health centres.
Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan issued the directions after making a personal visit to the Thiruvananthapuram Mental Health Centre in the wake of the controversial death of Satnam Singh and the report of IG B Sandhya in this regard.
The court observed that the methods being used to treat mentally-ill patients need a review.
Dr Radhakrishna Pillai, a senior anaesthetist, pointed out that improving the medical treatment is imperative.
Another requirement is the deployment of adequate doctors and staff to facilitate the process of chemical restraint during emergency situations.
During his visit, the judge noticed that there was no general physician in the MHC.
The court asked the state government to appoint general physicians in all mental health centres. Though psychiatrists have an MBBS degree and can look into physical problems, there must be physicians for proper care, the court said.
It also pointed out that some patients who had undergone an effective in-patient treatment in the MHC Thiruvananthapuram were fit to be discharged, subject to the requirement that they have to be provided with follow-up medicine.
Such medicines could be provided at general hospitals, district hospitals and other government hospitals.
The court also told the authorities to upgrade the breakfast menu of the inmates.
It also suggested that NSS volunteers in colleges in Thiruvananthapuram could also be involved in the process. “This could start with the two law colleges in the city,” it said.