Psychiatrists in the dispensary observation of people with severe mental disorders will have to cooperate with the police, and patients or their legal representatives will be required to inform the doctor about changing their place of residence or leaving the region. This follows from the order of the Ministry of Health, which approved changes in the procedure for monitoring people suffering from mental disorders. The document was published on November 30 on the official Internet portal of legal information.
The order of the Ministry of Health will come into force on March 1, 2023 and will be valid until March 1, 2029. The document amends the procedure for dispensary observation of people suffering from chronic and protracted mental disorders with severe persistent manifestations. We are talking about the most serious group of active dispensary observation – D-5. It includes patients who are prone to socially dangerous actions, as well as those who have already committed offenses.
In addition, the document obliges the patient or his legal representative to inform his doctor about the change of residence. So, if the patient has left the region for more than a month, he must notify his psychiatrist about this two weeks before departure, informing him of his new place of residence. When moving, the patient is obliged to attach himself to a new dispensary, the doctor of which must send a request about the patient’s diagnosis to the clinic where he was observed earlier.
Changes in the procedure for dispensary observation of people with severe mental illness will help prevent crimes that such patients can commit, commented on the document, the deputy chairman of the medical workers’ union, a psychiatrist Mikhail Androchnikov. According to him, doctors were given more freedom of action – to which group to attribute patients and with what frequency to observe. Positive changes include a provision that gives psychiatrists the right to apply to law enforcement agencies before people with mental illness commit socially dangerous actions.
Androchnikov also noted that the new order of the Ministry of Health will prevent people with severe mental disorders from hiding from dispensary observation when moving to another region. According to him, now patients who seek to avoid medical supervision will not be able, for example, to obtain a permit for weapons or driving in a new place of residence. This is also an important and correct change, the specialist is sure.
According to statistics, about 3.9 million people suffer from mental disorders in Russia. More than 1.4 million patients are under dispensary observation. Such data in May 2022 at a press conference at the Rossiya Segodnya MIA was given by Svetlana Shport, General Director of the Serbian National Research Center for Psychiatry and Narcology. The expert also noted that there are five groups of dispensary observation of patients with mental illness. A group of active dispensary observation was singled out separately. It includes two categories of patients – those suffering from severe mental disorders, prone to socially dangerous actions, as well as those who have already committed offenses.
• Murashko and Kolokoltseva were asked to recount the mentally ill on a monthly basis
Once a year
Earlier, deputies of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg took the initiative to tighten control over people with serious mental disorders. They proposed to oblige neuropsychiatric dispensaries to send information about potentially dangerous patients to the police at least once a month, as well as promptly notify law enforcement officers if a mentally ill person has not appeared at home for a long time.
Petersburg deputies appealed to the heads of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs with a request to consider the possibility and expediency of amending the Law “On Psychiatric Care and Guarantees of the Rights of Citizens in its Provision” and adjusting the instruction of April 30, 1997 “On Measures to Prevent Socially Dangerous Actions of Persons with Mental Health disorders.” The reason for this was the tragedy in Izhevsk, which occurred on September 26, when a mentally ill person opened fire in one of the city’s schools.