A patient of the National Psychiatric Hospital in Berbice has died of injuries he sustained during a fight with another patient at the institution.
The deceased has been identified as Stefon Francis, 28, of Kitty, Georgetown. The News Room was reliably informed that shortly before midnight on Sunday a fight broke out between Francis and another patient who has not been identified.
During the ruckus, Francis reportedly fell and hit his head and was taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital where he died early Monday morning.
Speaking with the media, Director of Regional Health Services, Region 6, Jevaughn Stephens stated the incident is currently under investigation.
“We at Regional Health Services regret this incident and will work closely with the Police and others to find out why an incident of this nature occurred and to find ways of ensuring that this is only a one-time thing and it never occurs again,” he stated.
Stephens said the Police were summoned and responded immediately at the scene where they conducted initial investigations and took statements from staff; however it is still unclear as to why the inmates were fighting.
Stephens noted the victim was admitted for substance abuse, which accounts for 40% of inmates at the institution. He said these patients are often involved in gang-related violence which may have been a contributing factor.
“Some 40% percentage of our patients are in for substance abuse and the other percentage of them comes from the court system that have remand dates and we take care of them because the court orders they be sent to the National Psychiatric Hospital …most of the times we find the persons coming through the court system and the substance abuse patients have a tendency of becoming violent over a period of time.
“When that happens they form gang (and) fight,” he stated.
Two persons have been arrested.