Under the MHCA 2017, all hospitals, where the persons with mental illness (PMI) are admitted, are the MENTAL HEALTH ESTABLISHMENTS (MHE). To get recognized as a teaching centre for MBBS, all the medical colleges are required to have a specified number of indoor beds in Psychiatry. Therefore, all the medical colleges are MHE under the MHCA and it becomes a legal requirement to get registered with the concerned State Mental Health Authority (SMHA). Even more, running an indoor unit without registration is a punishable offence under the section 107 of the MHCA. Therefore, there is no escape from registration as MHE for a medical college hospital. This requirement is for the medical colleges both in the government sector as well as in the private sector. In Mental Health Act 1987, exemption was provided to the government establishments. But in the newly enacted Act, this exemption has been taken away. Therefore, all the medical colleges and teaching institutes for MBBS are required to be registered as MHE. 

   Working in an unregistered MHE has also been made punishable offence u/s 107(2) of the MHCA. As a corollary, all the medical graduates working in a medical college (or for that matter anyone working over there) must ensure that the medical college, where they are working or are going to start working, is a registered unit under the MHCA. Otherwise, they would stand a risk of being charged with committing an act which is punishable under the MHCA. And this rule is both the private and the government ones. It will not be an excuse under the eye of Law that getting registered is a job of the management of the College. 

This is the legal position after promulgation of the MHCA, which everyone working in a medical college should keep in mind. Many a times, it happens that the private medical do not have a working indoor psychiatry units and show it only in paper and on the day of inspection they would admit few patients in a make shift arrangement just to fulfill the requirement. But once it is shown and accepted on record that the hospital does have an indoor psychiatry unit, it becomes a MHE. 

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