–following two fires at the facility this year
MEASURES are being put in place to ensure there is no future incidents of fires and other disasters at the National Psychiatric Hospital in Canje, Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne). This assurance was given by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, whose comment comes on the heels of two recent fires at the institution.
On August 7, a fire of unknown origin broke out at the hospital in New Amsterdam, during which several patients escaped, but were later apprehended.
Another fire occurred in June, following an altercation between three male patients. Several patients had also escaped, but were recaptured.
In wake of those incidents, Dr. Anthony said that the ministry is “beefing up” security at the institution.
“We have been in contact with the police and so, we have a stronger police presence now at the facility. Especially where we are holding those persons whose cases are still in court,” he said. The minister noted that in both instances, the fires were started by patients.
“The buildings that were burnt, were burnt by persons who are inside of those buildings. They set the building on fire, and they did that so that the doors can be opened and some of them can escape,” Dr. Anthony said. Only recently, Minister Anthony announced that some $26 million has been invested for the restoration of the hospital, to provide better living conditions for patients. The regional mental health institution is the only one of its kind, which provides services to persons diagnosed with mental illnesses. (DPI)