National Institute of Mental Health

Angoda, Sri Lanka

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The newest addition to patient care services was the “Colombo Out Reach Service” established with the aim of expanding its services to the community This ensures the prompt assessment and treatment of patients who are aggressive at home and difficult to be brought to the hospital using conventional transport. When the request to bring the patient comes from a close relative of the patient, he/she should produce adequate proof about the relationship to the patient and valid information about the patient’s health condition e.g. Diagnosis cards, clinic books.

Such valid requests will be forwarded to the relevant Constant Psychiatrist depending on the address of the permanent residence of the patient. Initial assessment of the patient’s condition and the requirement of in-ward care will be decided by the Constant Psychiatrist based on the information provided by the Medical Officer, Community Psychiatric Nurse and the Psychiatric Social Worker. Once the Constant Psychiatrist decides to bring the patient, he/she is visited by a team in an ambulance. The team comprise of a Medical Officer, a Nursing Officer/Community Psychiatric Nurse, Psychiatric Social Worker and a supportive staff. If there is a need help of the Police, Grama Niladari and Community members are sought. After the initial assessment if the doctor decides that the patient needs admission to NIMH, he/she is moved to hospital in the same ambulance.  

The ambulance is sent if the patient’s area of residence is within a 50km radius. A fixed administrative fees of Rupees 1000 and a refundable deposit of Rupees 1000 will be charged from the relative. Ministry of Health has given its approval for this project and the cost of visiting the patient is reimburse from the relatives of the patient on mileage basis (Rs 50 per km).




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