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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, July 17, 2012
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Talay psychiatric ward
needs security guards

The Psychiatric Ward in Talay, Dumaguete City, has not refused patients’ admission despite the lack of isolation cells, medicines, and personnel like nurses and security guards, Teresita Catacutan of the rehabilitation center, told members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod during its session on the proliferation of mentally-ill persons roaming around Dumaguete.

Catacutan, a head nurse, however, said there is need for more personnel, especially guards, as several of their patients have violent behaviors.

She said the possibility of an escape is imminent with the absence of security guards. The inmates are not only a threat to others and to property, but also to themselves, she said.

City administrator William Ablong said an average of three persons with mental disorders, are brought to the rehabilitation center every week.

Catacutan said there are 67 patients at the psychiatric ward, 44 of them males, and more than 400 outpatients who regularly come for treatment. These patients are from the nearby provinces of Cebu, Siquijor and the boundaries of Occidental Negros.

Dr. Angelo Arias, facility psychiatrist, lamented the lack of the latest medications for patients. He said most of their medicines were manufactured several years ago and chances for side effects are big.

The patient has a better chance of being integrated back to society and to land a job if given newer medications like in other countries, he said.

The P200,000 assistance extended by the city government is not enough even for the meals of the patients for the whole year, Arias said.

He said many non-government organizations and private groups, however, are helping the facility by donating medicines, and shouldering the repair of damaged ceilings, comfort rooms, and the like.*JG

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