By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
I am horrified by the alleged rape of an epileptic patient by a psychiatric patient at the South Rand Hospital in south Johannesburg.
According to a report, the patient was allegedly raped by a psychiatric patient while she was asleep, waiting for a bed to open in the ward. The psychiatric patient had been discharged earlier in the afternoon and was waiting for his family to collect him from the hospital.
There has been a dramatic increase of psychiatric patients at the hospital due to the temporary closure of the casualty unit at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital which is undergoing renovations. I warned about the problems this caused when I visited the hospital in July last year.
Patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, suicidal tendencies and drug addictions are admitted for 72 hours for observation and treatment.
These psychiatric patients should be kept separate from ordinary patients in a dedicated ward with tighter security.
We need a full investigation of this incident and better security to minimize the risk from psychiatric patients who can be unpredictable and violent.