Principal Secretary Health Ali R Rizvi informed that State Government would open a State Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, (SIMHANS) which would be a Centre of Excellence in psychiatric services in the State. He said that this would be another milestone in health sector. In order to synergize the current resources, the Department of Psychiatry, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla and Himachal Hospital for Mental Health and Rehabilitation would be merged, he added.
Rizvi further said that the Psychiatry Department would be come part and parcel of Himachal Hospital for Mental Health and Rehabilitation situated near Ghora Chowki. The newly constituted institute SIMHANS would be attached to IGMC while at the same time function independently. He said that due to adequate land availability of the site the physical infrastructure at the facility would be upgraded. The head of Psychiatry IGMC will head the SIMHANS as its Director. OPD services will also continue at IGMC. This would be on the pattern of Kamla Nehru Hospital which while being physically at a different location is part of IGMC and works as its gynae wing
Principal Secretary said that after constituting this new institute the increase in bed strength would help to increase the number of PG seats in the department thereby increasing the availability of expert manpower for Psychiatry care in the State. Better patient care will also be provided to the inmates of State Mental Hospital as they can be looked after by Specialist doctors.
Rizvi said that over the years, there was a growing demand for Psychiatric services in the State and due to increased stress in modern day life coupled with changing social norms, more and more people need expert advice on Psychiatric, Psychological and Psychosocial problems.