Fifty-nine days have passed since the Health Ombudsman released his report on the deaths of mental health patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni.
In his report, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba recommended as follows:
“All patients from Life Esidimeni currently placed in unlawful NGOs must be urgently removed and placed in appropriate Health Establishments within the Province where competencies to take care of their specialized needs are constantly available, this must be done within 45 days to reduce risk and save life; simultaneously, a full assessment and costing must be undertaken.”
This 45-day deadline was passed two weeks ago, but the majority of Esidimeni patients, perhaps as many as 500 patients, are still with the NGOs.
I acknowledge the difficulty in finding alternative suitable facilities and to move with due care in not repeating the failures in the previous transfers of patients, but we need to be kept up to date with the transfers.
It appears that the Selby Park Clinic and Life Esidimeni facilities will take most of the patients but need time to prepare properly for this.
The Gauteng Health Department should disclose the full reasons for the delay and a timetable for the transfers to be concluded as soon as possible.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222