New laws for China's 100m mentally ill

Updated: 2011-10-24 15:29

By Wang Qingyun (

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A long-awaited draft law and the nation's first to protect the rights of mentally ill people and prevent the illegal forced hospitalization of healthy people was presented to country's legislators on Monday.

According to Health Minister Chen Zhu, there are 16 million people suffering from "severe" mental health problems in China, making psychiatry one of the most costly areas of health care.

Statistics released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009 show 100 million Chinese suffer mental disorders, with at least 56 million mentally ill people across the country unable to get access to proper treatment.

The new bill will secure the rights of those suffering from mental illness, including their right to education, work and privacy and stop the wrongful rehabilitation of healthy people.