Kathmandu, April 19
The government has issued Drug Users’ Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre Operation Directive to ensure that drug users benefit from the service provided by treatment and rehabilitation centres.
The directive approved on February 8 allows federal, provincial and local governments, as well as non-profit organisations and registered enterprises, to establish and operate treatment and rehabilitation centres to provide service to drug users. “An organisation wishing to establish and operate such a centre shall submit an application, accompanied by necessary documents, to the Ministry of Home Affairs for licence,” it reads.
The documents to be attached to the application include a copy of tax clearance certificate, association registration certificate, articles of association of the organisation, site map of the proposed treatment and rehabilitation centre and a recommendation letter from the concerned district administration office.
Even the treatment and rehabilitation centres in operation, prior to the commencement of this directive, have to obtain licence within 60 days from the date on which it comes into force. This directive requires establishment and operation of treatment and rehabilitation centre in a place with clean and peaceful environment, close to a hospital or a health institution and having road transportation facilities.
“A treatment and rehabilitation centre should have at least one ropani land in Kathmandu valley and a minimum of three ropanis in other parts of the country,” the directive adds. The treatment and rehabilitation centre should be operated in a concrete building with accommodation capacity of at least 30 persons with a yoga room, a classroom, a workout room, a kitchen, a library, an office room, a treatment room and required number of bathrooms and toilets.
The directive has stipulated a provision for separate bed for each patient, proper lighting and ventilation system, round-the-clock water electricity supply, playground, garden and safe compound wall at the treatment and rehabilitation centre. “If a treatment and rehabilitation centre provides service for both males and females, it shall arrange for separate buildings with a boundary wall that bars the inmates from accessing each other’s building,” the directive reads.
A treatment and rehabilitation centre needs to provide nutritious and balanced diet with necessary calories corresponding to the age and physique of the patients, ensure their physical and psychological security and arrange for facilities of proper sanitation, reading materials and television. “A treatment and rehabilitation centre shall admit a patient only at the consent or request of his/her parents or guardians and treat him/her humanely,” it says.
The directive prohibits the abuse of a patient in any form whatsoever. It requires a treatment and rehabilitation centre to maintain the privacy of a patient, allow the concerned guardian or parent visit the patient, keep a visitors’ book, display a citizen charter at a place conspicuous to all and maintain daily records of treatment and counselling services. It also stipulates that a treatment and rehabilitation centre should be disable-friendly.
“Every treatment and rehabilitation centre should submit its annual progress report with fees being charged from a patient to the MoHA by mid-August, each fiscal,” it reads. It also needs to arrange for qualified and trained human resources, including a doctor licensed from Nepal Medical Council, treatment and rehabilitation experts, certified health workers for regular medical check-up of patients and a psycho-social counsellor.
The directive has made a provision for a five-member central monitoring and coordination committee led by chief narcotic officer at the MoHA. There will also be a district monitoring and coordination committee headed by the concerned chief district officer. “If a patient suffers any mental or physical harm, the concerned treatment and rehabilitation centre shall have to pay compensation to him/her according to the intensity of the harm,” it states.
A version of this article appears in print on April 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.