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Substance abuse blamed for growing burden on WC psych hospitals

Increased substance abuse has been blamed for escalating the burden on psychiatric hospitals in the Western Cape, where despite an increase in bed numbers, patient loads are outstripping the available beds. According to a Cape Argus report, this information is contained in Western Cape Health’s annual report for the 2018/2019 year, which was discussed by the standing committee on health in Parliament.

According to the annual report: “Acute and chronic intellectual disability and mental illness services are provided at Lentegeur, Stikland and Valkenberg hospitals and these include a range of therapeutic programmes.”

The total number of beds in psychiatric hospitals was increased by 150, as the three psychiatry intermediate care facilities were incorporated into their parent psychiatric hospitals and the number went up from 1700 beds to 1850.

The report says the Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo told the committee that “the public health system is generally under pressure in the face of budget cuts, urbanisation and migration (of people) from other provinces.

[link url="https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/psychiatric-hospitals-in-western-cape-struggling-with-increased-number-of-patients-35190497"]Cape Argus report[/link]

[link url="https://www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/health/annual_report_2019.pdf"]Western Cape Health Annual Report 2019[/link]

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