The Federal National Authority approves a draft mental health law


Abu Dhabi: Salam Abu Shehab

The Federal National Council, during its thirteenth session held today, Tuesday at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, headed by Saqr Ghobash, Chairman of the Council, and in the presence of Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Community Protection, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, approved a federal draft law on mental health to replace the federal law. No. 28 of 1981 regarding the detention and treatment of mentally ill persons.

Free services

Abdul Rahman Al-Owais confirmed that “all corona examinations in the facilities of the Ministry of Health are free and no fees have been charged, and at the state level, and if he is a suspect or a contact; The examination is conducted free of charge, adding that the ministry is still examining for free, and there are those who want to obtain better services through the examination by vehicle, this pays, and there are centers for examination for free and available to everyone, and that any case that proves that it is infected and requires admission to the hospital, services are provided to it free of charge. ».

In his response to a parliamentary question submitted by parliament member Hamad Al-Rahoumi, First Deputy Speaker, about the lack of health insurance coverage for coronavirus tests and treatment, the minister revealed that some cases that do not have beds in government hospitals are transferred to private hospitals, and the government bears the expenses of treating these cases. He thanked the National Emergency and Crisis Authority, the Ministry of Interior and health authorities for their efforts in transporting according to the highest international standards.

The minister stressed that the UAE has been proactive from the beginning in dealing with the Corona pandemic and in providing related services, praising the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in establishing examination centers and field hospitals.

He said that health insurance is one of the topics that we are keen on in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, and there are still decisions under implementation, and the draft health insurance law is in the works and will see the light soon, adding that the ministry is keen to carry out examination and follow-up operations and provide a large number of examinations, noting that the problems The actual issue of insurance is that companies refrain from providing any service if a pandemic is announced worldwide, and that health authorities are the ones who pay for treatment for everyone, even the insured, because insurance companies have stopped paying, noting that the law adopted in 2014 is the Diseases Law. Al-Sariah is the one who helped the Ministry and set the main points in the treatment, provision of services and examinations, and any proposal submitted would be welcomed.

Shopping Center

Abdul Rahman Al-Owais, in response to a question submitted by Council member Naama Al-Sharhan, Second Vice-President of the Council, about providing emergency medical services to shopping mall visitors, stressed that the post-Covid stage is very different from what was before, and among its advantages is the rearrangement of many things, and we are working to develop the work system Continuously and in coordination with various authorities, noting that commercial centers do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry, and we welcome the member’s proposals and we will communicate them to the concerned authorities.

Shaam Hospital

In response to a question submitted by Council member Ahmed Abdullah Al Shehhi about the plan to develop Shaam Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, the Minister of Health explained that since the beginning of April, the hospitals and medical clinics sector became affiliated with the Emirates Health Services Corporation.

Dr. Youssef Al Serkal, Director General of the Emirates Health Services Corporation, said: In the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the service is provided by five hospitals that complement each other and contribute to covering the needs, and there is a development plan for hospitals, and the capacity of Shaam Hospital has been increased threefold for the emergency department, and the expansion of specialized clinics. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for all specialties, adding the specialties of mental health, eyes, nose, throat, dermatology, women and childbirth, and no services were stopped during the pandemic in the hospital, and during the year 2020, 43,000 visits were recorded, and the percentage of customers’ happiness increased to 83 percent between the years 2018-2020.

Rare medical specialties

Al Serkal stressed that there are measures to support Emiratisation efforts in the medical sector and an increase in the number of citizens in medical specialties during the period 2017-2020, and there is a program to encourage the completion of the study of rare medical specialties. Training in rare specialties, the proportion of board members during the period 2016-2020 increased fourfold, and the National Institute for Health Specialties and the Emirates Board were established, and specialized training programs were approved based on health care needs.

Dr. Al-Sarkal said in response to a question submitted by Obaid Khalfan Al-Ghoul about rare medical specialties, regarding salaries and staff, there was an initiative of a specialized functional cadre that the various concerned authorities worked on, under the supervision of the Ministry, with the support and follow-up of the Council of Ministers, and due to the special circumstances of the pandemic, some delays have resulted in a re-examination of the staff Insha’Allah.

A question about “specialized centers for treatment, awareness and prevention of diabetes” was postponed due to the apology of the question presenter, Council member Yousef Abdullah Al-Shehhi, for not attending the session.

Psychological health:

The draft mental health law aims to regulate the relationship between the psychiatric patient and the various parties dealing with him, protect and preserve the rights and dignity of the psychiatric patient, reduce the negative effects of mental disorders in the lives of individuals, family and society, and promote the integration of the mentally ill patient into society. The provisions of this draft apply to everything related to health. Psychiatric, psychiatric patient, mental health facility, and any other concerned facility in the country, including free zones.

The psychiatric patient or his representative may appeal against the decision of the Patients’ Rights Care Committee before the committee, and the committee must decide on the grievance or objection within (6) six working days from the date of the grievance or objection, and no information or data may be disclosed to any party other than the health authorities. For persons admitted to a health facility for the purpose of treatment for addiction to narcotics or psychotropic substances.

Registration of patients

According to the draft law, mental health services may not be provided without obtaining a license from the health authority, and the mental health facility must maintain a special register for the registration of mental patients.

A decision of the head of the health authority shall also form one or more committees called “the Monitoring and Follow-up Committee” in each emirate in which mental health services are provided, and the decision defines its work system.

30 really for the mentally ill

The psychiatric patient has many rights, amounting to 30 rights, including: not to impose restrictions on his work or employment due to his psychological disorder or to terminate his work except on the basis of a report from a specialized medical committee, protection from degrading treatment and physical, physical and sexual exploitation, etc., and leaving the facility Mental health after the end of the compulsory admission period, obtaining health insurance that guarantees comprehensive health care, and providing support to facilitate the process of teaching and learning and practicing recreational and cultural activities in coordination with the concerned authorities. The minor mental patient is surrounded by special health guarantees that take into account his age group and his psychological state. And his best interest, including: the right to provide education, and to oblige the representative of the mentally ill minor to follow the treatment plan.

Mandatory entry procedures

Compulsory admission to private mental health facilities is not permitted, and entry to a mental health facility for treatment is voluntary, subject to the written consent of the psychiatric patient or his representative. The mental health facility management must inform the Committee of any person who is compulsorily admitted for evaluation within a period not exceeding ( 7) Seven working days from the admission decision, and the period of compulsory admission for evaluation should not exceed (45) days, which can be extended for the period that the committee deems appropriate based on the recommendation of the physician conducting the evaluation.

heavy penalties

The imposition of the penalties stipulated in this law does not prejudice any more severe penalty stipulated in any other law, whereby imprisonment and a fine of no less than (50,000) fifty thousand dirhams and not more than (200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams or either of these two penalties shall be imposed: Deliberately in his medical report what contradicts the reality regarding the psychological state of a person with the intention of entering a mental health facility or removing him from it, and whoever causes bad faith to admit a person to a mental health facility contrary to what is established in this law and its executive regulations.

He shall also be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months and a fine of no less than (50,000) fifty thousand dirhams and not more than (100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams, or either of these two penalties “whoever helps a person subject to compulsory entry to escape.”

A penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine of not less than (50,000) fifty thousand dirhams and not more than (100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams, or either of these two penalties shall be imposed on “anyone who is assigned to guard, care, nurse or treat a person suffering from a mental illness and deliberately mistreats him.” or neglected.

According to the draft law, if mistreatment or neglect results in a serious illness, serious injury, or disability in the mental patient’s body, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period of no less than one year and a fine of no less than (100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams and not more than (200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams, or one of the These two penalties, and the penalties stipulated in this law shall be doubled in case of recurrence.

The Council of Ministers, upon presentation by the Minister, issues the executive regulations for this law within one year from the date of its publication. Federal Law No. (28) for the year 1981 referred to, shall be repealed, and this law shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall come into force six months after the date of its publication.


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