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Home » Blog » Important to ensure mental health services being accessible to patients in the remotest parts of the state: Dr. Ramesh Reddy

Important to ensure mental health services being accessible to patients in the remotest parts of the state: Dr. Ramesh Reddy

Hyderabad, December 12, 2023: The Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) – Telangana State Branch and Department of Psychiatry, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Hyderabad; hosted the 9th Mid-Term Conference, with the theme, “Establishing Psychiatric Services,” today at the Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences, Jubilee Hills. The esteemed Chief Guest for the conference Dr. Ramesh Reddy, the Director, DME Telangana, inaugurated the Conference. Guest of Honour Dr. Uma Shankar, Medical Superintendent, Institute of Mental Health, Erragadda and CEO, Mental Health Authority, Telangana; along with Dr. Arabinda Brahma, General Secretary, Indian Psychiatric Society and CEO, Mental Health Authority, Telangana; Dr. Ashok K Alimchandani, Vice-President IPS-TSB; Dr. Naresh Vadlamani, Organising Secretary; Dr. Neha Mahendra Gala, Organising Treasurer; Dr. Minhajzafar Nasirabadi, President, IPS Telangana State Branch; Dr. Vishal Akula, General Secretary, IPS Telangana State Branch; Dr. Anita Rayirala, Treasurer, IPS Telangana State Branch; Dr. Phanikanth Kondaparthi, Hon’ Editor; Ms Aparna Reddy, COO, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Hyderabad; graced the occasion.

Chief Guest Dr K. Ramesh Reddy (2nd from Left), Director of Medi
Chief Guest Dr. K. Ramesh Reddy (2nd from Left), Director of Medical Education, Telangana; inaugurating the 9th Mid-term IPS-TSB CPD, hosted by the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) – Telangana State Branch and Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Hyderabad; with the theme, “Establishing Psychiatric Services,” today at the Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences, Jubilee Hills, as (L-R) Dr. Naresh Vadlamani, Organizing Secretary, IPS-TSB; Dr. Ashok Alimchandani, Organizing Chairperson and HOD, Dept of Psychiatry, AIMSR; Mrs Aparna Reddy, COO, AIMSR & Guests of Honor Dr Umashankar, Medical Superintendent, IMH & Dr. Arabinda Brahma, Hon General Secretary, IPS; look on.

Delivering his inaugural address Dr. Ramesh Reddy, said, I appreciate Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) – Telangana State Branch and Department of Psychiatry, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Hyderabad; for conducting this highly enlightening Continuous Medical Education program. I am confident of this Conference having engaging discussions which throw up excellent suggestions. The theme of the Conference is “Establishing Psychiatric Services”, you are all eminent professionals in this field and are aware of the limitations and the kind of psychiatry services available in our country.

One of the most important limitations is the availability of qualified professionals in this field, how many of such professionals are in the teaching institutes, be it Government or Private. Also, what is the kind of support being extended by the state government for an important field like this. As you know Psychiatry was confined to medical colleges and there too it was not in a full-fledged manner, just for the sake of MCI or NMC we used to have one department, they were just kept as nominal departments in these medical institutions. But that’s not the case today with the pressure from the Government of India, the legal forums including the Supreme Court, which are insisting on implementing psychiatric services in various parts of the country, especially in institutions, therefore no more psychiatry can be ignored.

With the implementation of Mental Health Act, it becomes mandatory for every one of us to implement it in a more scientific manner, which was not the case earlier. Today we have a specific body to implement the Act, Dr. Uma Shankar is the CEO of that body. He has done very good work, especially in framing the rules and regulations. Now this body has started inspecting the institutions. There are many people who are exploiting this particular field because there is a need of services and these services can’t be given in regular hospitals even in the private sector, so obviously rehabilitation centers are mushrooming everywhere, and they are exploiting patients.

Some rehabilitation centers have gone to the extent of doing what is depicted in movies. We are experiencing the pathetic state of affairs of these Rehabilitation centers. As there is no proper regulatory mechanism for Rehabilitation Centers, they are taking patients just for the sake of money and later dumping them there. Because most families want to keep them in some centers and are ready to pay money, the services rendered by these Centers are absolutely pathetic. Now I am confident of things to be more systematic and in the days to come they will be regularized. At the same time, there is a need for medical institutions, especially the medical colleges to concentrate on improvising the psychiatric services.

Chief Guest Dr K. Ramesh Reddy (extreme right), Director of Medi
Chief Guest Dr K. Ramesh Reddy (extreme right), Director of Medical Education, Telangana; delivering the inaugural address at the 9th Mid-term IPS-TSB CPD, hosted by the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) – Telangana State Branch and Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Hyderabad; with the theme, “Establishing Psychiatric Services,” today at the Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences, Jubilee Hills, as (L-R) Dr Phanikanth Kondaparthi, Editor, IPS-TSB; Dr Anitha Rayirala, Treasurer, IPS-TSB; Dr Vishal Akula, General Secretary IPS-TSB; Guest of Honor Dr Arabinda Brahma, Hon General Secretary, IPS; Guest of Honor Dr Umashankar, Medical Superintendent, IMH; Dr Minhajzafar Nasirabadi, President IPS-TSB; Mrs Aparna Reddy, COO, AIMSR; Dr Ashok Alimchandani, Organizing Chairperson and HOD, Dept of Psychiatry, AIMSR & Dr Naresh Vadlamani, Organizing Secretary, IPS-TSB; look on.

I can proudly say we are almost having a medical college in each district and each of these colleges have a psychiatric department. It is important that their services should be extended to the entire district, With the help of Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad, the psychiatrists posted in secondary care hospitals, this goal can be accomplished. We have made this service mandatory in medical colleges as off late we are seeing several students because of various pressures committing suicide, such students just need some counselling.

We made it mandatory to have a dedicated area in every medical college with our psychiatric colleagues being available to provide counselling for any student needing it. The major challenge we face is in discharging psychiatric patients, as the families are not willing to take them back and we don’t have adequate halfway homes available to keep them before they are sent back to the society.

Therefore, we need to focus on multiple areas, that’s when we can be able to provide the best of the psychiatric services, which is a very important facility much needed by the society. It is of paramount importance that the Indian Psychiatric Society – Telangana State Branch, comes out with some good suggestions from this Conference, which can serve as a baseline for governments to act on and provide better services in the days to come.”

The Conference brought together, several State, National, and International professionals in the field of Psychiatry, to deliberate on the means for establishing and expanding comprehensive mental health services in both the government and private sectors of Telangana. The highly educative sessions at the Conference covered a spectrum of mental healthcare topics, including psychotherapy, de-addiction services, child psychiatry, rehabilitation, telepsychiatry, geriatric services, nursing homes, etc. These discussions emphasized on the need to establish a comprehensive mental health support system in the state.

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