• 25/04/2024 09:34

The Ministry of Health approved a new procedure for providing psychiatric care in hospitals


Mar 6, 2024

The Ministry of Health has approved a new procedure for the provision of psychiatric care in inpatient settings, the main principle of which is the priority of human rights and dignity.

This is reported on the website of the Ministry of Health, reports Ukrinform.

“For the first time since 2000, a comprehensive document has been approved that defines the procedure for providing psychiatric care in inpatient settings and is based on international standards for the treatment of people suffering from mental disorders, taking into account the priority of human rights and dignity as specified in the 1950 Convention of Human Rights and Freedoms. The approved order changes approaches to the treatment of patients in psychiatric hospitals. It is about human rights and dignity, about effective and modern methods, and not about correctional ones, which we inherited from the Soviet system of psychiatry. Psychiatric hospital – this is not a prison or a correctional colony, but a medical institution where patients receive the help and treatment they need, – emphasized the Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko.

As the ministry noted, fear and stigma regarding treatment in psychiatric hospitals often prevent people from deciding to at least consult a family doctor regarding issues of their mental health. The reason for this is – memories of punitive psychiatry that operated in the Soviet Union and is becoming even more brutal in modern Russia.

For many years, mental health care was concentrated primarily in specialized medical institutions, which contributed to stigmatization and did not provide adequate the level of a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental disorders.

Until now, for example, in Ukraine, up to half of all children and adolescents meeting criteria for mental disorders receive a suboptimal level of treatment (or no treatment at all), despite the availability of effective treatments. However, children with complex mental disorders are at risk of inadequate treatment because optimal care requires coordination of medical, educational and social services. Therefore, changes are extremely necessary.

According to the Ministry of Health, the approved order will contribute to the accessibility and improvement of mental health services by increasing the effectiveness of diagnostic, treatment and preventive measures. The goal is to protect the rights of patients in psychiatric institutions, in particular the rights of patients to decent conditions of stay and treatment; preventing any form of physical, psychological or exploitative abuse of patients.

By the way, the new procedure for providing psychiatric care in inpatient settings provides for: a ban on providing psychiatric care to persons under 18 years of age in departments for adults; mandatory examination and recording of all bodily injuries during the patient’s hospitalization; a ban on locking the entrance door to rooms and wards and installing bars on the windows of the wards.

Patients also have guarantees of free communication with visitors without the presence of staff; have the right to conduct telephone conversations and use the Internet.

At the same time, the ministry draws attention to the fact that, in accordance with Art. 25 of the Law “On Psychiatric Care” Patients, by decision of the attending psychiatrist (children's psychiatrist), in the interests of protecting their health or safety, as well as in the interests of the health or safety of other persons, may be limited to: receiving visitors in private; buy and use everyday items; to be alone.

As Ukrinform reported, in Ukraine in 2023, 320 thousand people benefited from psychological support at the primary level.

Photo from open sources


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