Four violent incidents at Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital since patient’s murder in May - DA
Four more violent incidents by mental health patients at the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto in Johannesburg have taken place since a patient was stabbed to death by a psychiatric patient on May 8, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
This was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku in a written reply to questions in the Gauteng legislature, DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said in a statement.
According to Masuku, there had been 10 violent incidents at the hospital since January this year:
- 09/01/2020: Patient assaulted by a mental patient;
- 18/01/2020: Patient damaged property and assaulted an employee;
- 27/01/2020: Patient assaulted by a mental patient;
- 07/03/2020: Patient gained access through the fire hydrant to the ceiling to escape;
- 28/04/2020: Burglar door was disconnected by the patient and used to escape;
- 08/05/2020: Patient allegedly stabbed another patient to death;
- 09/05/2020: Patient assaulted by a mental patient;
- 12/05/2020: Patient assaulted by a mental patient;
- 15/05/2020: Patient gained access through the shower room into the ceiling to escape; and
- 19/05/2020: Patient vandalised the male medical ward (broke windows and damaged certain equipment in the ward).
Masuku said in his reply that these incidents were caused by “the medical conditions of the patients. These patients are also managed in a non-secluded environment as there are no dedicated mental health wards“.
Furthermore, “Preliminary investigations are under way in order to inform appropriate actions. The chief executive officer is on precautionary transfer”, and ”mental health services are currently suspended to allow Infrastructural challenges to be dealt with by department of infrastructural development (DID)”.
Bloom said he was highly disappointed that the hospital had not taken sufficient security steps to prevent violent incidents even after the murder of a patient. The key problem was that mental health patients were kept in an ordinary ward rather than a dedicated high security ward which should have been built long ago.
"I welcome the precautionary suspension of CEO Ruth Mabyana, as she has failed dismally to manage the hospital for six years. She should be replaced with someone who can ensure that there is safety and quality care for all patients at this hospital," Bloom said.
African News Agency (ANA)