More violent attacks and escape attempts at Bheki Mlangeni Hospital

File. Picture: Jacques Nelles

This follows the stabbing to death of a patient by a psychiatric patient on 8 May.

Three more violent incidents by mental health patients have taken place at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto since early May.

This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC, Bandile Masuku in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Masuku, there have been a number of violent incidents at the hospital since January this year:

  1. 09/01/2020; Patient assaulted by a mental patient.
  2. 18/01/2020: Patient damaged the property and assaulted an employee.
  3. 27/01/2020; Patient assaulted by a mental patient.
  4. 07/03/2020; Patient gained access through the fire hydrant into the ceiling to escape.
  5. 28/04/2020; Burglar door was disconnected by the patient and used to escape.
  6. 08/05/2020; Patient allegedly stabbed another patient to death.
  7. 09/05/2020; Patient assaulted by a mental patient.
  8. 12/05/2020; Patient assaulted by a mental patient.
  9. 15/05/2020; Patient gained access through the shower room into the ceiling to escape.
  10. 19/05/2020: Patient vandalised the male medical ward (broke windows and damaged certain equipment in the ward).

Masuku says 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.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Jack Bloom says “the key problem is that mental health patients are 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.”

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