ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

K S JacobSubscribe to K S Jacob

Mental Health Legislation

The Mental Health Care Bill, passed in the Rajya Sabha in August 2016, and up for discussion in the Lok Sabha, attempts to address complex issues and integrate divergent perspectives, resulting in uneasy compromise. It is still a work in progress.

Politics of Medical Education in India

The impoverishment within the public health system is in stark contrast to the phenomenal rise of private healthcare, its international standards, medical tourism and its focus on servicing the rich. A meaningful change within medical education and the public health system, both predictors of healthcare delivery and of national standards of health, seems to be light years away. While the challenge of reforming medical education in India requires a revolution, much of the debate refuses to identify the elephant in the room, that is, the politics of medical education and public health.

Mental Healthcare

The provision of mental healthcare at the primary level in low- and middle-income countries is woefully inadequate today. While the recent emphasis on the link between mental disorders and non-communicable diseases appears to be a tactical advance, it is also an admission of the strategic failure of integrating mental healthcare into primary care.

Ahimsa at Odds

Propagating ahimsa, while permitting structural violence, suggests ethical blindness for individuals and an absence of an enlightened vision for society. India needs to move from a narrow concept of ahimsa to a broader vision, which renounces structural violence.

Mental Distress, Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment

After the Germanwings pilot with psychological problems flew a plane-load of passengers into the French Alps, there has been a great deal of public discussion on mental illness, suicidal tendencies and treatment. This comment addresses two larger issues related to mental distress and illness--psychiatric labelling and the indiscriminate use of psychotropic medication. Though human thinking, emotions, and behaviour defy simplistic categorisation, the current trend is to medicalise personal, social, economic, and political problems while diminishing the role of a causal environment.

Burden of Infectious Diseases

Diseases like the H1N1 flu pose major challenges because of the continuing neglect of public health.
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