I am concerned at the report today that about 100 psychiatric patients in Gauteng are still at NGOs that are not equipped to care for them.
All the mental health patients that were transferred last year from Life Esidimeni were supposed to have been transferred to licensed facilities by the end of April according to an agreement by the Gauteng Health Department with the Health Ombudsman who had originally specified a 45 day deadline when he tabled his report on 1 February this year.
My information is that there are enough beds for the patients at the Selby Park Hospital and at the Esidimeni Waverley facility in Germiston which has been reopened.
The Gauteng Health Department should give a full report as to why it has not met the extended deadline for the transfer of patients, including the numbers of patients at the various NGOs and why they are still there.
I am also concerned by the slow progress into holding accountable the perpetrators of the more than 100 patients who died and also the failure to appoint a credible prominent person to lead the recommended Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure for redress and compensation to relatives.
Every effort should be made to comply with the Ombudsman’s recommendations following the terrible harm caused by the callous transfer of patients from Esidimeni to unsuitable NGOs.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222