South Africa lacks decent community-based residential facilities for people with psychiatric disorders.
Mental Health Director for the Department of Health, Sifiso Phakathi, says the country needs facilities that will keep mental health patients within their communities for their families to visit while they receive rehabilitation. He says the country has sufficient psychiatric hospitals. Phakathi was briefing the Free State Legislature Health Portfolio Committee in Bloemfontein on Tuesday about the mental health amendment bill.
“We trying to create some productivity on how we care, treat and rehabilitate state patients in the country. The second component is how we appoint mental hospital boards in these hospitals. Those are the main key areas,” he says
Phakathi says their visit in the province is to create efficiency on how government will apply the bill. “We conducted a general review led by the national minister of mental health by having provincial summits and in 2012 we had a national summit. One of the questions was if the country needed more psychiatric hospitals or not and the World Health Organisation (WHO) assisted us with the review,” says Phakathi.
Tomorrow public hearings on Mental Health Care Amendment Bill will be held in Petrusburg Community Hall and Boikhuco Old Age Home in Bloemfontein.