UAE Imposes up to Dh200,000 Fine and Imprisonment for Mental Health Violations

Individuals who are responsible for the treatment of UAE mental health patients face severe penalties under the recently passed Federal Law, which takes effect on May 30, 2024.

Offenders may be subject to a fine of up to Dh200,000 and a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail if their actions cause a patient's severe damage or physical handicap. The purpose of this law, which is known as Federal Law No. 10 of 2023 on Mental Health, is to protect people with mental health issues from various harm.

False information willfully provided for the purpose of admittance or release from a mental health hospital carries significant legal ramifications, according to Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants senior counsel Stephen Ballantine. People who perform these things in bad faith and are found guilty might go to jail and pay penalties between Dh50,000 and Dh100,000. More severe penalties, including fines of up to Dh200,000 and a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year, apply where abuse or neglect causes substantial injury or incapacity. The penalty for repeat violators is quadrupled, and they may also be held liable for violations of regulations or general civil law.

The legislation also addresses the deliberate fabrication of a patient's mental health diagnosis in order to gain admission to or release from a mental health institution. The punishment for this crime might be up to two years in prison and penalties between fifty thousand and two hundred thousand dinars. In a similar vein, you can face fines and jail time if you help someone who is subject to compulsory admission escape.

People with mental health issues should be treated with dignity and respect, and these fines are an attempt to make that happen. When it comes to mandatory hospitalization in the public and private sectors, the new legislation protects the rights of people with mental illness.

As It mandates the formation of a new oversight committee, the Control and Follow-up Committee (CFC), in every health authority to review and appeal decisions made by Patients' Rights Committees (PRCs) within mental health facilities and to monitor mental health services generally. Patients or medical directors have the right to appeal PRC judgments, and the CFC is obligated to make a determination within six business days.

Read also: UAE: Voluntary savings system not part of end-of-service benefits

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