The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) plans to step up its inspections of state mental health facilities in the wake of the scandal over the deaths of more than 100 mentally ill patients in Gauteng, it emerged in Cape Town on Wednesday. The OHSC is a statutory body charged with inspecting hospitals and clinics, and each year examines a fraction of SA’s more than 3,800 public health facilities. In the 2015-16 fiscal year it did not inspect a single psychiatric hospital, according to an inspection register previously provided to Business Day. Following an investigation by the health ombudsman into the deaths of the Gauteng mental patients in 2016, an OHSC task team had been established to look more closely at state mental health facilities, OHSC acting CEO Bafana Msibi told Business Day shortly after presenting the OHSC’s 2015-16 inspection report to Parliament. The task team was piloting an assessment system for state psychiatric hospitals and aimed to put all of them thro...

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