3 psychiatric patients have jumped to their deaths at hospital this year

2016-09-01 07:21

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Johannesburg – Three psychiatric patients have jumped to their deaths at the South Rand Hospital in south Johannesburg this year alone, the Gauteng department of health has confirmed.

On Tuesday DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said in a statement that all three jumped from the windows of the hospital.

The first incident happened on May 12 when a man jumped from the seventh floor and fell to his death.

That was followed by a second person, a woman, who jumped from the fourth floor after she removed the burglar bars; while a third person, also a woman, jumped to her death on August 12. The names of the patients were not made available.

According to Bloom, he raised concerns in 2015 about safety measures to cater for psychiatric patients that were transferred there due to renovations at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

The department of health's Steve Mabona confirmed the deaths to News24.

"Yes, indeed three patients have regrettably passed away from this facility," Mabona said via e-mail in reply to questions regarding the deaths.

He said that the hospital has since re-installed burglar bars and strengthened security measures. These include stationing more security personnel at the entrance of the psychiatric ward.

"We have also involved occupational therapy and physiotherapy to intensify and consolidate recreation activities for mental healthcare users at the facility."

The department said that an internal investigation into the deaths was launched and no evidence of medical negligence was found.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

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