Concerning the psychiatric patient’s deaths in Gauteng, there’s an agitation for former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela to be unleashed in order to ensure that the relatives of the 94 dead get fair settlement.
The agitation, led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) party argues that the Gauteng Provincial Government is suffering a crisis of credibility over the deaths and needs to appoint someone of high stature to get redress and compensation for the relatives.
The quest to unleash Madonsela follows the Health Ombudsman’s recommendation for the National Health Minister and the Gauteng Premier to contact all affected individuals and families for an Alternative Dispute Resolution process.
Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba specified that the process must include an unconditional apology to families, relatives of the deceased and live patients who were subjected to the avoidable trauma.
Referring to the emotional and psychological trauma the relatives must have endured, Makgoba recommended that psychological counselling and support must be provided to them immediately.
Makgoba also recommended that the out come of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process determine things like the mechanisms of redress and compensation.
“A credible prominent South African with an established track record should lead such a process,” Makgoba offered.
Holding on to the recommendations highlighted above, the DA asserted that the approach would avoid long-drawn-out legal proceedings as with the Marikana deaths.
“It could also be a more satisfactory and speedy alternative to a class action law suit.
“We believe that former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela has the necessary moral authority and support to ensure that there is a fair settlement for the relatives that includes financial compensation, while bearing in mind that no amount of money can recompense for the loss of a loved one,” stated the party
Afterwards, the DA urged the Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi and Premier David Makhura to approach Adv Madonsela as their top choice for the purpose.
“We hope that she can spare some time from her current sabbatical at Harvard University, otherwise someone else with a similar reputation for integrity and independence should be appointed,” added DA.
Meanwhile, the National Department of Health has initiated processes to review the licences of the 27 Non-Governmental Organisations that received patients during the Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that Gauteng Department of Health will work with the National Department to overhaul mental healthcare in the province.
Also, World Health Organisation has been contacted to provide expert assistance in the re-establishment of quality mental health care in the province.
More-so, the provincial government divulged that a government task team has started working towards the relocation of mental health patients being cared for at various NGOs.
Already, the team has visited the NGOs to establish the right number of mental health patients being cared for at the NGOs.
“…In transferring patients to suitable institutions everything must be done to avoid any negative impacts on the patients. The five high risk NGOs identified by the report of the Health Ombudsman are being prioritized,” said the provincial government.