Have your say on mental health amendment bill

2013-07-15 00:00

THE public, business and non-profit organisations have two weeks to make written submissions to the Mental Health Care Amendment Bill.

The announcement was made by the KwaZulu-Natal chairperson of the Health Portfolio Committee, Maggie Govender, during a public participation hearing held at the KZN legislature on Friday.

The new bill seeks to amend the Mental Health Care Act of 2002, to: add a new section to provide for delegation of powers by the director-general to officials in the national Health Department to:

• Determine transfers of state patients from detention centres to health establishments; and

• Review the mental health status of patients.

Muzi Mzila of Mzila HM Incorporated attorneys suggested that the new bill should also look at ways of protecting the business interests of mentally ill patients who own businesses, but have no one to run them on their behalf.

Other issues raised by health officials from all parts of the province was that police needed to be educated about the new bill. This was necessary because there were times when the police refused to handcuff sedated patients in order for them to be transported to the various institutions, said one attendee.

The officials said members of the Emergency Medical Rescue Services sometimes refused to transport these patients.

Another matter to address was mental patients roaming the streets.

Officials of the national department were also told patients needed to be protected from abuse in their families.

The bill must also address how the staff should handle pregnant patients.

Health Department senior manager Jimmy Mthethwa said this was a societal issue and they needed the support of everyone in the community to end the stigma associated with mental health.

“We are working with Operation Sukuma Sakhe, an initiative by the premier, to reach all the areas because we cannot fight this alone,” he said.

Members of the public have until July 26 to send their written submissions. Hard copies of the bill can be found at the KZN Legislature administration building, 244 Langalibalele Street and at municipal offices in KZN.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.