Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - BIG PICTURE -

When the PGI was started around 50 years ago, 24 of the to­tal beds were re­served for the newly es­tab­lished branch of psy­chi­a­try. Not a sin­gle bed has been added since. Fi­nally the hope ap­pears to have been re­newed. EX­PANSE AND EX­PENSE

The in­sti­tute has pro­posed to set up a 150-bed cen­tre. Un­der the 12th Five Year Plan, Rs 114 crore has been sought for the project. It in­cludes 55 crore for the build­ing, Rs 6 crore for fur­ni­ture and equip­ment and 51 crore for man­power.

“All spe­cial­ties de­vel­oped their cen­tres and in­creased their bed strength, but men­tal health in­fra­struc­ture was never de­vel­oped in the PGI,” said Dr Savita Mal­ho­tra, head, depart­ment of psy­chi­a­try, PGI.

In the past year, 56,000 pa­tients were ex­am­ined in the OPD, in­clud­ing around 10,000 new pa­tients. How­ever, the depart­ment is able to ad­mit only around 250 pa­tients a year. “We need to in­crease it to at least 1,000 beds,” said Dr Mal­ho­tra.

A spe­cial fo­cus area would be ad­vanced child and ado­les­cent psy­chi­a­try. As per the ex­ist­ing pro­posal, in the in­door care, beds will be re­served for child psy­chi­atric prob­lems like autism.

The cen­tre will also ad­vance re­search and post-grad­u­ate med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

The tar­get is to fin­ish the project in one go.

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