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Helen Joseph Hospital records increase in psychiatric patient admissions

The Helen Joseph Hospital (HJH) recorded an increase in the number of mental health patients, with some patients coming from outside the hospital feeding area.

This is according to Gauteng Health MEC, Dr. Nomathemba Mokgethi, who responded to a legislative question about the condition of the hospital.

According to Gauteng’s health department, Helen Joseph Hospital had treated more than 800 patients in the emergency department since January, compared with 80 in January 2021.

The department said the outpatient clinic had treated 520 patients by January 2022, compared to 244 in January 2021.

Gauteng Health spokesman Kwara Kekana said Mokgethi said the increase in admissions was attributed to poor socio-economic conditions exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread use of illegal substances and some families’ reluctance to treat members with a disability. mental illness to take back when fired.

“The temporary closure of sections at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) has also contributed to the increase in the number of patients.”

Kekana added that Mokgethi said several measures are being put in place at Helen Joseph Hospital to ensure care for the growing number of psychiatric patients, including increasing bed capacity and repurposing a temporary structure to accommodate more patients.

She said the hospital is also liaising with psychiatric wards in other facilities to transfer patients when capacity is available.

Kekana said Mokgethi pleaded with families who refuse to take back their loved ones with mental illness to cooperate with the government and welcome their relatives with care in their release from health facilities.

In the meantime, Mokgethi blames vandalism for the delay in reopening the emergency room at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

According to the MEC, Gauteng’s provincial health department is waiting for contractors to hand over the unit as they had to replace what had been destroyed.

Mokgethi said the unit will then be cleaned and ready for patients, which she hopes will be before the end of March.

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