UAE: 200,000 AED fine, imprisonment for violating mental health law

A detailed mental health law has been enacted by the federal government of the UAE. In addition to lengthy prison terms, offenders can be fined between 50,000 and 200,000 UAE Dirhams.

UAE passes innovative mental health legislation to safeguard patients' rights

This innovative mental health law is in line with current best practices and research in the area, protecting the rights of people with mental illness and guaranteeing that they receive the best possible clinical and psychosocial treatment.

The fundamental goal of the law is to set standards for essential health care based on the best practices and rules for how all parties involved in the treatment of psychiatric patients should interact with one another.

Protection of Rights and Dignity:

Moreover, the legislation seeks to protect the rights and dignity of people with mental illness, lessen the impact of mental illness on individuals, their families, and society at large, and encourage their social inclusion.

The legislation encompasses all facets of mental health and extends to psychiatric patients, mental health institutions, and associated entities across the nation, including in free zones. It clarifies mental health and psychiatric patients using modern terminology that reflects current thinking in the field.

Fundamental Requirements:

The act forbids the delivery of mental health services in the absence of appropriate authorization from the appropriate authorities. Included in the clearly outlined general rights of patients are the following: the right to a thorough explanation of their rights inside mental health facilities; the right to lodge complaints and grievances; and the right to get treatment and care in an atmosphere that respects their civil rights.

Legal safeguards for children include provisions for the provision of health insurance, the provision of educational opportunities, the organisation of leisure pursuits, and the selection of legal representation as part of a psychosocial care plan following hospital release. We take into account the age and mental health of our paediatric psychiatric patients when we design our special health assurances.

The creation of specialised monitoring committees in each emirate to safeguard the rights of mental patients is a crucial step for this cause. Patients' rights will be further safeguarded by specialised committees at each healthcare facility.

Extensive Rules for Treatment and Admission:

The legislation specifies several forms of admission to mental health institutions and creates rules for responsibilities in the event of a patient's escape or death while incarcerated. The topics covered include situations involving psychological restraint, seclusion, patient transfers, and cases needing mandatory treatment in outpatient clinics.

New Mental Health Legislation in the UAE

The new mental health legislation in the UAE is a major step forward in the development of mental healthcare, the prioritisation of patient rights, and the creation of a thorough framework for the treatment, protection, and inclusion of those suffering from mental health issues.

Read also: UAE issues decree-law on comprehensive media regulation

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