Psychiatric Patients’ Deaths: In line with the health ombudsman’s recommendations, the Gauteng department of health announced on Wednesday that 63 of the 763 mental patients have been transferred from the various NGOs to two selected service providers.
Health MEC Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa, on Wednesday, gave an update on the Life Healthcare Esidimeni crisis. She said the department has set aside R6m for the transfer of the remaining psychiatric patients from unlicensed NGOs to suitable facilities.
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that the selected service providers which received the 63 patients are the Clinix Selby Park Hospital in the Joburg CBD and Life Esidimeni Baneng Care Centre in Robertville, Roodepoort.
Ramokgopa said 61 patients were moved to the Clinix Selby Park Hospital in Johannesburg while two patients were placed at Life Esidimeni.
She noted that the transfer of 63 patients to Clinix Selby and Life Esidimeni was done with the consent of their families.
Clinix Selby Park Hospital is said to be the biggest private hospital in the country, with 642 beds.
The department would be “paying R459 per patient per day” at the Selby Park private hospital in Johannesburg, which has 642 beds, as well as other facilities that take care of psychiatric patients.
The R495 a day, as gathered, covers food, medication and the multidisciplinary teams working with the patients.
“We will spend R6m on the transfer process. The national Department of Health has also been assisting and we are using the Gauteng health services such as the EMS ambulances that are available to transport the patients,” the MEC added.
Meanwhile, the remaining seven hundred patients, who need to be placed, are still with 22 unlicensed NGOs.
Away from the transfer process, the MEC also announced that Tiego Selebano, Makgabo Manamela and another official have been suspended for the death of over 100 mentally ill patients at an unlicensed NGOs last year.
In addition, she disclosed that four deputy directors are to face disciplinary hearings while the chief director has been placed on a precautionary transfer to Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.
The officials were said to have been implicated for been at the forefront of the transfer of over 1,000 patients to unfit and unregistered NGOs in a cost-cutting exercise.
Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa had previously served as Gauteng Health MEC. She was appointed last month to rescue and restore public confidence in the provincial health sector days after Former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu tendered her resignation to Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
Mahlangu was found to have been negligent and reckless in her decision to move over 1,300 mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni Healthcare. The rash decision led to the death of over 100 psychiatric patients.