Mental Health - CC via Raw Pixel
CAIRO - 18 April 2023: In this story, et sheds the light on the process of issuing a law protecting mentally ill patients, in addition to revising the regulations of the current
Mental Patient Care Law under Egypt’s National Council for Mental Health, which was formed in 2020.
When the Ministry of Public Health was established in 1936, the first Egyptian law to protect the mentally ill was ratified in Parliament in 1944.
The Mental Health Law of 1944 continued to set the standards for mental health care in Egypt until 2006, when Egypt's Ministry of Health began working on a new draft law that would protect the rights of people with mental illnesses and set guidelines for those working in clinical practice, according to an article titled “Mental Health Legislation in Egypt and Patients’ Rights” published on the Alternative Policy solutions website, highlighting the process of issuing mental health act in Egypt.
On September 23, 2009, the Egyptian Parliament ratified Law No. 71 of 2009, known as the Mental Health Law. The executive regulations were finalized in 2010. The law helped develop the concept of care in Egyptian mental health hospitals.
In 2020, the issue was brought up for discussion again in the Egyptian parliament, where a law was issued amending articles of mentally ill patient care law of 2009.
The National Council of Mental Health shall be formed under a Prime Minister Decree, and it is chaired by the Minister of Health or his/her deputy.
The Mental Patient Care Law regulated the terms of reference of the National Council for Mental Health, and the law stipulated that the National Council for Mental Health undertake the following:
1- Supervision and oversight of the regional councils for mental health.
2- Monitoring the implementation of the provisions of this law in mental health facilities.
3- Developing policies that guarantee respect for the rights and safety of mental patients.
4- Publish periodic reports on his work in accordance with what is determined by the executive regulations of this law.
5- Monitoring the conditions of entry, detention and treatment of mentally ill patients, and ensuring that they enjoy the guarantees and rights stipulated in this law.
6- Deciding on grievances against the decisions of the regional councils for mental health.
7- Setting standards for the license issued by the Ministry of Health to manage and operate mental health facilities, and to renew and cancel it.
8- The Council shall have a technical committee of specialized physicians to review patient records when necessary, in accordance with what is included in the executive regulations of this law.
9- The council undertakes the functions of the regional council for mental health in the governorates in which a regional council for mental health has not been formed.