Centre for Enquiry Into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT)

CEHAT acts as an interface between progressive people's movements and academia. An important opportunity to engender medical education has come forth with the recent National Health Policy (NHP 2017). For the first time, NHP acknowledged the importance of social determinants of health and the need to address these urgently in health services. Here lies a window of opportunity for CEHAT given its most recent experience of engendering medical education in Maharashtra. The specific focus of the project is to facilitate sensitive health care through a gender and sexuality lens and implement clinical protocols in select medical colleges towards mental health care. An important opening to influence health services is found in the decriminalization of Sec 377 which was a 156 old archaic law and recognising the rights of people in same sex relationships. The second important opening is with the Mental Health Act 2017 which requires medical professionals to recognise rights of persons with mental illness as well as develop services that enables them to execute advanced directives and offer care. These aspects need in depth training and integration in medical education as well as clinical practice.

CEHAT will deepen the implementation of gender integrated modules in select medical colleges of Maharashtra with a specific focus on sexual minorities and their health rights. It will develop a 3-day curriculum that focuses on understanding of gender and sex, intersectionality, discrimination, physical and psychological health consequences and building skills to respond to the unique needs of the community. These training programs will be delivered to medical educators across departments of medicine, psychiatry, gynecology, forensics and community medicine. CEHAT will also work to develop the competency of psychiatry medical educators from three medical colleges to teach as well as deliver gender-sensitive clinical care to those seeking mental health care in the context of Mental Health Care Act (2017).