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29th March, 2017
 
IMA highlights deficiencies in the new Mental Health Bill 2016 passed by the Parliament
 
The Lower House of the Parliament passed the new Mental Healthcare Bill 2016 on Monday. The Upper House had already passed the Bill in August last year.
  • It clearly spells out clearly government’s responsibility.
  • It decriminalizes attempt to suicide.
  • It has made the mentally ill eligible for insurance cover etc
 The Bill has some very good provisions (as above) and it has been enacted by the Parliament, it suffers from some fundamental inconsistencies and poor drafting. Submissions have been made in detail to the Hon’ble Health Minister by the Indian Psychiatric Society.
 
Some of the fundamental problems with the Bill are as mentioned below
 
1. Definition of mental illness: Mental illness is defined as “substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgement, behavior, capacity to recognize reality and ability to meet ordinary demands of life”
  • This definition is at variance with that of National Mental Health Policy.
  • As per the definition, even serious mental illnesses like Depression and Delusional Disorder cannot be considered as mental illnesses. Common mental illnesses like Panic Disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder also cannot be considered as mental illnesses, whereas these illnesses can be very disabling. Hence, the provisions of the act can benefit only a small portion of people with mental illnesses (PMI).
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Press Release
The health benefits of eating KuttuKaAata or Buckwheat Flour during the Navratri season
 
New Delhi, 28th March 2017: Navratri is the detoxification of a person’s body, mind and soul. During this time wheat flour is omitted from a person’s diet and replaced with buckwheat flour or kuttukaaata to help cleanse one’s body. Buckwheat is not a cereal grain butis derived from fruits and hence is a good substitute for cereals.

Explaining the health benefits of buckwheat flour Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) said, “KuttuKaAata or buckwhear flour is extremely high in protein and is a wonderful substitute for those who are allergic to gluten (found in wheat).
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