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‘Fatwa’ okays final draft for laws on mental health, patients’ rights Law on smoking ban amended: official

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 14: Legal advisor at Ministry of Health Dr Mahmoud Abdulhadi disclosed that the Fatwa and Legislative Department affiliated to the Cabinet has approved the final draft for laws on mental health, patients’ rights, and ban on smoking. The draft will be referred to Cabinet soon, and then the parliament, reports Al-Anba daily. In a press statement, Dr Abdulhadi said the new mental health law sets work mechanism and the qualities of personnel working in psychological field, and also determines the manner in which patients should be admitted and discharged from the hospital to guarantee the rights of doctors and patients. He indicated the law has clauses such as the one that bars forced admission or keeping patients in the psychiatric hospital against their will, and the other clause that stipulates conditions under which a patient should be kept on admission, in addition to facilities that will improve the standards of psychiatric practice in Kuwait.

As regards ban on smoking, Dr Abdulhadi affirmed that law 15/1995 has been amended with new clauses imposing restraint in the cafés, restaurants and public places, with tougher penalties against violators. He noted the concerned employees from the Municipality, Police, Health and Commerce have been empowered to arrest violators, noting the fine has been increased from KD 15 to KD 500. As regards the rights of patients, Dr Abdulhadi said the law will establish a method and suitable mechanisms to implement the procedures for review, pertaining to organizing the relationship between patients and doctors, and protecting patients’ rights in all centers and stages of health care. The law also guarantees information on medical cases and the treatment methods available, including information on ‘side effects’ if any. The law covers the confidentiality of patients’ information, children’s right to healthcare, and those with special needs-as per human rights charter in which Kuwait is signatory.

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