Punjab: Punjab Suspends Decision On Private Psychiatric Clinics Prescribing Detox Drugs | Chandigarh News

CHANDIGARH: Doing an about-face, the government of Punjab withheld its decision allowing private psychiatric clinics to dispense buprenorphine and naloxone to drug addicted patients.
After much deliberation, the Punjab cabinet amended in August 2020 the rules for treatment and counseling and rehabilitation centers for substance use disorders in Punjab, paving the way for private psychiatric clinics to dispense medication for Detoxification covered by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 (NDPS), a long-awaited application from private psychiatrists.
Previously, only private drug treatment centers and government-run opioid-assisted outpatient clinics and treatment centers (OOATs) were permitted to dispense buprenorphine.
The government is putting aside changing the rules for psychiatric clinics while the other changes are implemented.
In a letter to all Deputy Commissioners and District Committee Chairs, Civilian Surgeons, Private Substance Use Disorder Treatment Centers, and Counseling and Rehabilitation Centers, the legal opinion obtained from the Punjab’s attorney general has been cited for non-application. The ministry said applications from centers with outpatient facilities will only be accepted after the outcome of the ongoing public interest disputes (PIL).
Drug addiction detoxification and detoxification centers that obtained authorizations after September 11, 2020 will be inspected according to amended rules, while centers whose renewal is due before February 15, 2022 have a three-month deadline to comply with the standards. minimum. care as indicated in the regulations. The remaining centers that were licensed before September 11, 2020 and have a license valid for more than three months have been asked to meet the minimum standards prescribed in the rules.
New and refill cases in process and pending at the Director of Health Services will be inspected according to the new rules and new recommendations will be sent.
According to the changes, each drug detox license will be issued in the name of the responsible psychiatrist in order to avoid frequent trips of doctors from one center to another and the same doctor being indicated as responsible in several places. However, a change of manager is authorized by following a prescribed protocol and informing the licensing authority.
No medication or admission should be done without the presence of a psychiatrist. For rehabilitation centers, the appointment of a full-time psychiatrist has been mandatory, which was previously a visiting psychiatrist at least once a week. These centers must have an MBBS doctor at least four hours a day. The center requires an area of ​​at least 500 square meters and must ensure that the manufacturer only supplies drugs that have been checked for quality to the national food and drug analysis laboratory in Kharar.
The amended rules give the government the power to regulate and control the treatment fees and prices of drugs dispensed in drug rehab centers.
The Association of Psychiatrists (AOP) described this decision as regressive. AOP President Dr Rupinder Kapur said the rule change came into effect after multiple discussions and approvals by various authorities. The office of the chief minister, the office of the minister of health, three other chief secretaries, experts from AIIMS, New Delhi, PGI, Chandigarh, officials from the mental health branch, psychiatrists in government offices and the private sector participated in the formulation of these rules which were then approved by the legal department. before being adopted by the cabinet and finally notified by the governor of Punjab in August 2020. The government will have to explain to patients why this selection policy is carried out in a decision that benefits them.

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