70 held for abusing mentally ill patients

Published: Nov 01, 2012, 08:52 IST | IANS |

As many as 70 employees of a mental health centre in Israel have been arrested for alleged physical and sexual abuse of patients.

The Neve Ya'akov facility, located in Petach Tikva city, 10 km from Tel Aviv, is home to 160 patients, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

According to Israeli Army Radio, the medical workers were held following a year-long investigation when about 150 policemen suddenly descended on the facility, hauling in doctors, nurses and other workers.

Former workers at the health centre had tipped off the health ministry that some employees had sexually abused the patients, tied them to their beds and beat them.

The ministry referred the case to police which took the facility's surveillance camera footage and computers as evidence.

"We began to suspect that there were a number of workers who were abusing patients, while others knew and did nothing to stop them," said police chief superintendent Sigal Bar-Zvi after the raid.

The health ministry, meanwhile, has arranged an alternative team of doctors to administer the facility and take care of its patients.  

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