Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act (Singapore)
The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act (Singapore) was passed in 2008 to regulate the involuntary detention of a person in a psychiatric institution for the treatment of a mental disorder, or in the interest of the health and safety of the person or the persons around him.
Form 1 in the first schedule of the act empowers a designated medical practitioner at a psychiatric institution to admit a person suffering from a mental disorder into the psychiatric institution, and detain the patient for up to 72 hours.
A patient that has been admitted under Form 1, may be detained for a further period of 1 month after the expiration of the 72-hour period under the provision of Form 2 in the first schedule of the act, if the following requirements are fulfilled:
- The patient is examined by another designated medical practitioner at the institution, and is of the opinion that further treatment is needed
- The designated practitioner signs Form 2
Form 3 allows for a patient detained under form 2 to be further detained for up to 6 months if:
- 2 Designated medical practitioners (of which at least one must be a psychiatrist) have examined the patient separately and are satisfied that the patient requires further treatment at the psychiatric institution
- It is necessary in the interest of the health or safety of the person or for the protection of other persons that the person should be detained
Form 4 of the Act allows for visitors to apply to a Magistrate for Form 5. The visitors are appointed by the Minister of Health. At least 12 visitors are appointed at any time, and at least 6 have to be medical practitioners. 2 or more visitors have to visit the designated psychiatric institution at least once every 3 months.
Form 5 in the First Schedule of the act is an order made by a Magistrate, which allows for the patient to be detained for a further 12 months.