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Death of patients at Mental Health institution raising concern

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association says it is concerned about the deaths of some patients at the Mental Health institution.

A release from the association said there were 10 deaths at the institution.{{more}}

“It is a matter of great concern and we hope that there will be a transparent and thorough investigation into the deaths of so many residents at one institution. Members of our society who are mentally ill are vulnerable and we must take great care in the way we treat, care and deal with them.” the release, dated March 27 and signed by president Nicole Sylvester said.

The release however did not specify the period in which that number of deaths occurred.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer Beache told SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday that as far as the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is aware, eight, not 10 residents of the Mental Health Centre (MHC) have died since the move of the facility from Glen to Orange Hill in October, 2014.

She said that of the eight patients, seven died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) where they had been admitted for care.

The Chief Medical Officer said whatever the number, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is looking into the matter to determine whether anything untoward led to any of the deaths, but that indepth report has not yet been completed.

Dr Keizer Beache said the Ministry is very aware of the vulnerabilitiy of patients with mental health issues and it is their aim to always provide them with the protection and quality care that is required.

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