The dire state of Eastern Cape’s mental health services

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With only 79 psychiatric staff members for about 1 421 beds, the shocking staffing issue in the Eastern Cape has paralysed the system. Photo: iStock
With only 79 psychiatric staff members for about 1 421 beds, the shocking staffing issue in the Eastern Cape has paralysed the system. Photo: iStock

NEWS


With only 79 psychiatric staff members for about 1 421 beds, the shocking staffing issue in the Eastern Cape has paralysed the system, writes Lubabalo Ngcukana.

A 79-year-old Mthatha granny is living in fear that her grandson who has a mental health disorder might one day harm her.

The granny, who did not want to be identified for fear of being attacked by her 27-year-old grandson, said the young man had been in and out of the Mthatha’s Mental Health Unit. He was either discharged or escaped from the psychiatric ward and just showed up at their home in Gxulu, a village near Mthatha.

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