Following the tragic deaths of psychiatric patients in Gauteng, the Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal supports the call by the National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi for the Human Rights Commission to investigate whether there are similar cases in other provinces.
“The tragic deaths of about 100 psychiatric patients has sent shock waves throughout the country and has exposed the lack of adequate and suitable facilities to cater for such patients at our hospitals. These revelations in Gauteng raise many questions around how long has this been going and just how widespread is it. We have always bemoaned the fact that most hospitals in our province do not have dedicated facilities to accommodate psychiatric patients nor do we have adequate staff to provide specialised care. Having general-care patients placed in the same wards as psychiatric patients poses a threat to both sets of patients as well as to staff. Government needs to provide the necessary funding and resources in order for hospitals to cater for the needs of psychiatric patients,” said Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health.
“Whilst we support the call by the Minister, he needs to get his house in order and therefore we urge him conduct an evaluation of psychiatric facilities at hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal. The Minister must institute a Departmental investigation into how psychiatric patients are cared for in our province. We are deeply concerned about the lack of facilities and the shortage of adequately trained staff. The Department must not wait for a tragedy to occur in KZN before it sits up and takes notice of something that we as the IFP have been highlighting as a serious concern for a long time. The Department needs to be proactive and prioritise the well-being of its citizens rather than to react after the fact. Creative thinking and forward planning is essential if we are to prevent the loss of life of patients with special needs”, concluded Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991