Three Gauteng mental hospitals ‘unsuitable’ for patients
Johannesburg - Conditions at three Gauteng hospitals where patients were raped are so bad that they are not suitable to admit mentally ill patients.
A report tabled at the Gauteng legislature by the health department this week regarding the recent spate of rapes of mental health patients found that even Tara Moross Hospital was not suitable to admit patients.
A male patient was allegedly raped by another male mental health patient at Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital.
At the Stanza Bopape Community Health Centre in Pretoria a male nurse has been suspended and charged after allegedly raping a male patient. The report confirmed this.
At the Tara Moross Mental Hospital, it is alleged that a 15-year-old girl, an outpatient, was raped by another patient.
At the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, a 16-yearold autistic boy was raped by another mental health patient. All the victims in the alleged rape cases are minors.
On Tara, Charlotte Maxeke and Bheki Mlangeni, the report stated that the facility not only didn’t have the right facilities to admit mental health patients, there were also “insufficient to no security interventions.”
It also stated that a mental health care user who alleged he was raped could not give a clear explanation on what happened to him because of his mental condition. “Further clinical assessments by expert multidisciplinary team could not take place as the patient fell sick with a high temperature which eventually made him a PUI (patient under investigation) therefore limiting the extent of the clinical assessment,” the report read.
It recommended that all police investigations into the rapes be concluded, but in the meantime “safety of the patients is made a priority by increase (sic) security interventions and visibility”.
DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said: “I hope the department genuinely beefs up security at hospitals with special precautions for vulnerable mental health patients.
“It was disclosed in another report that the department has paid R900 000 to the family of a patient stabbed to death at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital, and R260 000 was paid in settlement of a claim by another patient who survived a stabbing attack at the same hospital.”
Gauteng Health Department said it would respond to the report today.