Picture: freestocks.org/Pexels

Johannesburg - Psychiatric nurses in eSwatini have threatened to release their mentally-ill patients, fearing that drug shortages to subdue their charges may present a danger to their safety.

The drug shortage, including medicines running out in public hospitals and clinics, is part of a nationwide health crisis after the government failed to pay suppliers, the Swazi Media blogspot reported on Thursday.

Mbabane has been aware for months of the drug shortages but has failed to respond, according to Nurses at the National Psychiatric Centre, near Manzini.

The nurses have complained of suffering repeated violence from psychiatric patients but the situation has worsened recently as a result of the drug shortages with the medical staff unable to reason with the patients due to their mental illnesses.

Health minister Lizzie Nkosi has been give seven days  by members of parliament to submit a detailed report highlighting the problems in the health sector, including the drug shortages and proposed industrial action by health workers. 

African News Agency (ANA)