Bill suggests affordable treatment for people with autism

The central government will ensure timely and affordable treatment to people affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is based on a private member bill moved by Nationalist Congress Party Supriya Sule.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (Recognition and Treatment) Bill, 2017 is aimed at recognising the rights of people with autism and making its treatment accessible and affordable.

The bill proposes that the treatment of ASD include counselling, therapy sessions and rehabilitative care be given free of cost at public health centres.

Sule said that India lacks a comprehensive law on dealing with the disorder and that there is a need to ensure free treatment as well as invest in research and development of surveillance and information systems to collect data on ASDs. In most cases, ASDs show up in kids below one year.

It also says that state governments will hire more mental health care professionals in public hospitals to maintain the doctor-patient ratio. This means at least a doctor for every 40 patients with ASD.

The bill also proposes that the central government will provide funds for medical research, which will go into the causes of ASD and other developmental disorders.

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