PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Labor VSA Omar Ottley has banned Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in Cay Hill from taking in any more patients without his prior consent. The medical directorate of MHF again placed a patient in solitary confinement last week without the minister and the prosecutor having been informed in advance.
R.S., a man in his thirties, had been taken by family members to the clinic in Cay Hill early last week, where he voluntarily allowed himself to be admitted. While, according to witnesses, he was not aggressive nor posed a danger to himself, R.S. was placed in the isolation cell by order of the medical management.
According to the law, both the minister of VSA and the prosecutor must be informed of planned coercive medication and the intention to deprive a patient of his liberty. Based on the National Ordinance on the supervision of the mentally ill, a declaration of insanity (KZ statement) must be issued on behalf of the Minister of VSA.
“I never signed off for R.S.,” said Minister Ottley on Thursday in response to questions from this newspaper. “Apparently the request very recently made it to my office and because it was not signed, he was released.” R.S. was released from the isolation cell on Thursday afternoon.
The director of MHF has received an official letter from Minister Ottley, stating that the clinic may no longer take in patients without written permission from the minister.
The medical directorate of MHF, consisting of psychiatrists Kitty Pelswijk and Erik Hoencamp, is under investigation in connection with the death of 48-year-old L.T., who died in a holding cell at the police station in Philipsburg on July 22, four days after he was placed there by order of MHF. Reportedly, no KZ statement had been issued for L.T., and according to police, L.T. was not a suspect of a criminal offence.
The Prosecutor’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into the case, after the National Detectives’ investigation showed that there are indications for culpable homicide.