Patients riot after cut in rations

2009-03-13 00:00

Riots broke out at Townhill Hospital last week when patients found their food rations cut.

Staff allege that the instruction to cut rations came from KZN Health Department’s head office as a cost-saving measure in light of the department’s R2,5-million budget overspend.

Staff in the Hillside ward of the psychiatric hospital, where the incidents happened, were in fear for their lives, saying the patients at the hospital are mentally ill and many are physically strong.

According to staff, the patients’ medication makes them hungry and when they received half of what they usually expect, many just went berserk. The first riot happened on Friday and mayhem broke out again on Sunday evening.

The management at the hospital made a plan and increased rations, but staff say this is on an ad-hoc basis.

Staff also allege that the management promised to remedy the situation by speaking to the supply chain division at head office where the decision to cut food rations was made. However, nothing seems to have happened as yet.

Night staff are now using their own money to buy bread to fill the patients up so they can calm them down and settle them for the night. The situation is being described as untenable and there are calls for urgent action by the department.

Staff believe that if there is another riot things may turn ugly and there may be casualties.

KZN Health spokesman Sebe Zwane said yesterday that the department is aware of the matter.

He said a management meeting was held this week to resolve this matter and everything is back to normal.

But members of the trade union Nehawu deny that all is back to normal. They will be monitoring the situation and if there are further cuts, they will take it up with their union as members’ lives are being endangered, they said.

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.