The Gauteng Department of Health has converted a section of the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital, which saw 224 mental health care users in January alone, into a 14-bed psychiatry ward.
The hospital in Soweto made headlines after 30 people with a mental health condition, and nine staff members were attacked by mental healthcare patients between January 2020 and August 2021.
Between January 2020 and August 2021, the hospital admitted a total of 2 319 mental healthcare patients.
"The Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital does not have a dedicated psychiatry ward due to its classification as a level 1 facility. The current hospital district mental healthcare services package allows for 72-hour observation, which, depending on the level of care needed, patients are referred to either regional or tertiary hospitals,' said the department on Thursday.
The hospital currently had space for 26 patients - 14 males and 12 females.
"We wish to emphasise that mental health patients are only placed in other wards when they need treatment for another condition, in addition to mental health care," said the Department.
The department had also beefed up security at the facility.
"Security is always placed in sections with mental healthcare patients. The department is confident that in addition to security measures in place, this intervention will help relieve pressure in other wards."