UAE: Up to Dh200,000 Fine, Imprisonment for Violating New Mental Health Law

UAE: Up to Dh200,000 Fine, Imprisonment for Violating New Mental Health Law

In every emirate, a special monitoring committee would be formed whose sole goal will be to protect patient rights.

A Federal Law on Mental Health was released by the UAE Government on Wednesday. It outlines a range of punishments for violators of its rules and requirements, including imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh50,000 nor more than Dh200,000.

The new law protects the rights of psychiatric patients and guarantees the provision of the greatest physical and mental healthcare, in line with the most recent advancements and practices in the field.

In addition to providing the required medical care in compliance with the highest standards and practices, the law seeks to control the interactions between mental health patients and all parties involved.

The new law also seeks to protect the rights and dignity of psychiatric patients, as well as to promote their social integration and greatly lessen the detrimental impact of mental illnesses on patients, their families, and society at large.

The patient, mental health facilities, and any other organizations in the nation involved in the patient's psychiatric care—including those situated in free zones—are all subject to the law in all matters pertaining to mental health. In line with the most recent procedures and theories in the field of mental health, it also redefines mental health and psychiatric patients.

According to the requirements of the law, the new legislation forbids the provision of mental health services without the consent of the appropriate authority.

As per the legal provisions, patients are entitled to a comprehensive explanation of their rights within the mental health facility and the ability to file grievances and complaints. In addition, the patient needs to get the necessary medical attention and therapies in a setting that respects their civil rights.

Patient's Rights

The law shields patients from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and maintains their unrestricted freedom to continue working. The law also safeguards the personal possessions of patients at the mental health facility and guarantees the secrecy of all patient information and the precautions taken to secure it.

The law provides guidelines for the mental and social care plans that patients must follow when they are released from the mental health facility. It also covers how to get medical insurance that complies with current laws, how to get access to education and leisure activities, and how to designate advocates to speak up for patients' interests both inside and outside of the mental health facility.

The law protects patients' access to mental health treatments and prescription drugs in conformity with accepted medical practices. The patient must be informed about clinical observations, treatment plans, goals, and dangers, along with the advantages and disadvantages, timeline, and suggested course of action in an emergency or crisis.

In light of their age and mental state, minor psychiatric patients will receive certain health guarantees under the recently approved federal order. This covers the entitlement to an education, the requirement that an accommodation be kept apart from adult spaces, and the expectation that any procedure be preceded by the preparation of a social worker or psychologist. In addition, the law guarantees the implementation of age-specific health precautions that take into account the age group of the child patient and are in their best interests.

The law stipulates that each emirate must establish a special monitoring committee tasked with protecting the rights of psychiatric patients. Additionally, each health facility must form a special committee to guarantee patient rights are upheld.

The monitoring committees in each emirate will be in charge of monitoring the progress of reports from mental health establishments regarding forced patient admissions; overseeing mental health care facilities and confirming that they will adhere to the standards and protocols outlined in the decree; reviewing the reports from the emirate's patients' rights committee and addressing complaints, grievances, and objections.

Psychiatric patients' rights will be upheld by the patients' rights committee of each emirate, which will also be in charge of hearing complaints from these patients and taking all appropriate action to address them.

The categories of admission to the mental health facility are outlined in the new law. It established a variety of rules regarding voluntary admission for the purpose of treating substance abuse or psychotropic substance use, as well as the responsibilities of the mental health facility in the event that a patient escapes or passes away there.

The new law defines situations involving psychological constraint, patient seclusion, patient transfers both inside and beyond the nation, and situations involving mandatory outpatient therapy.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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