Thane mental hospital gets nod for makeover | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Thane mental hospital gets nod for makeover

Dilapidated walls, the pungent smell of unpalatable food and unkempt inmates left behind by their families — the grim picture painted by Thane mental hospital will soon be a thing of the past.

mumbai Updated: May 25, 2011 02:05 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

Dilapidated walls, the pungent smell of unpalatable food and unkempt inmates left behind by their families — the grim picture painted by Thane mental hospital will soon be a thing of the past.

The state health department’s proposal to convert the 60-acre hospital into a ‘centre of excellence for mental health’ got the go-ahead by deputy chief minister and state finance minister Ajit Pawar on Tuesday.

Along with Thane mental hospital, government-run mental hospitals in Nagpur, Ratnagiri and Pune will also be upgraded and will serve as tertiary centres.

“We will develop Thane mental hospital on the lines of Bangalore’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), a premier institute for mental health in the country,” said public health minister Suresh Shetty after the meeting with Pawar.

Officials from the public works department, which will be responsible for drawing up infrastructure plans, will be travelling to Bangalore to study the NIMHANS model. They will put forth their proposal to the health department by June.

After the makeover; the hospital will feature a separate hospital wing, a rehabilitation centre, an outpatient area and a college for ongoing training for doctors and nursing staff, eventually aimed at extending to PG courses in mental health.

The state is planning to undertake the project on a public-private-partnership (PPP) basis, which raises questions on cost escalations involved.

“There is no question of passing on costs to patients. All these hospitals are based on a large area of land. We will ask developers to set up these centres for us in lieu of a small piece of land on which they will be allowed to build a private hospital or medical centre,” Shetty said.

He added that through this centre, the state wants bring to a change in the general attitude towards mental health patients.

“We are going to make it mandatory for families to come and live with patients and not just dump them. There will be special rooms built so that families can stay with the patient,” said Shetty.

“Also, patients who are on the path towards recovery will be put through a rehabilitation programme,” he added.