Central Committee Department for Science and Higher Education. Report about the state of the psychiatric care in the USSR (7 pp). [R 22 February 1972, St 31-19] Excerpts.
[page one and two same document; additional handwritten notes on p 2]
Workers of all lands, unite!
COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION, CENTRAL COMMITTEE
[Printed in the left margin]
Return to the CPSU Central Committee (Sector II of the General Department) within 15 days. Resolution of the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee, 28 March 1967, St 22/ item [illegible]
22 February 1972
Excerpt from minutes 31, item 19 of the Secretariat of the Central Committee
Note from the Central Committee Department of Research and Educational Institutions about the state of psychiatric care in the country
Send the note from the Central Committee Department of Research and Educational Institutions about the state of psychiatric care in the country to be examined by the commission headed by Comrade Rakovsky, which was set up by the 26 January 1972 decision of the USSR Council of Ministers.
SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Sent to Comrades:
Rakovsky, Smirtyukov, Trapeznikov
Sixth sector, 10 March 1972
Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers, 17 [illegible] 1973, No 42
[pages three to five]
To the CPSU Central Committee
Concerning the state of psychiatric care in the country
The CPSU Central Committee is receiving complaints from the population about the organisation of psychiatric care in the country.
According to the information of the USSR Ministry of Health a growth in mental illness has been noted within the country. If at the beginning of 1966 2,114,000 were registered at out-patient mental health institutions, by the beginning of 1971 this figure was 3,700,000 and 280,000 were being treated as in-patients.
The number of beds for psychiatric treatment of the country’s population is less than half of what is needed. The material conditions in the overwhelming majority of in-patient facilities for psychiatric patients are unsatisfactory. A considerable number of these facilities are located in premises that have not been adapted for the purpose, and are unsuitable for the normal accommodation of patients. In many hospitals there is less than 2.0 to 2.5 cubic metres per patient when the norm is 7 cubic metres. Not infrequently patients are accommodated two to a bed or even on the floor. In a number of hospitals two-storey bunk beds have been built […]
[page four] [2.]
Difficulties with placing mentally ill patients in hospitals and their premature release from an in-patient facility leads to the presence of seriously ill and often socially dangerous individuals being among the population.
According to the data of the USSR Ministry for Internal Affairs there has recently been an increase in the number of killings, assaults, robberies, thefts and other grave crimes committed by individuals suffering from mental illnesses. In 1970 they committed 6,493 crimes, including 937 murders. Moreover, individual crimes were committed with particular brutality, and were accompanied by large numbers of victims
[page five] 3.
The 5 July 1968 decree (No 517) of the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers “On measures to further improve healthcare and the development of medical science in the country” envisaged the building and opening for use before 1975 of no less than 125 psychiatric hospitals, each with 500 or more beds. The 1971-1975 plan for the economy envisages the building and opening for use of 114 psychiatric hospitals with 43,800 beds.
In 1971 the USSR Ministry of Health, together with the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and the KGB presented a draft decree to the USSR Council of Ministers for measures to further improve the medical care for the mentally ill. […]
On 27 January this year the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers examined this problem and entrusted a commission made up of Comrades Rakovsky, Martynov, Petrovsky, Tsvigun, Shcholokov, Volkhovkov, Garbuzov and Prokhorov to draw up a decree taking into account the exchange of views at the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers.
[page six] 4.
The draft resolution of the CPSU Central Committee is attached.
Head of the Central Committee Department
for Science and Higher Education Institutions
[signed] S. Trapeznikov
[page seven, draft Central Committee resolution]
1. Notes and additions by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. Text added by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been inserted
in a previously typed document it is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, John Crowfoot