Psychiatric patients still at Gauteng NGOs
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Psychiatric patients still at Gauteng NGOs

Gauteng's Health department says there are still about 100 psychiatric patients at Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the province.

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Photo: Wikimedia, Alex Proimos

According to an agreement with the Health Ombudsman, all the mental health patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni last year were supposed to have been transferred to licensed facilities by the end of April.


The department's Khutso Rabothata says they did not transfer all the patients due to various reasons.


"We have a problem with families who are still refusing to move the patients from the facilities that were declared inappropriate and there are those patients who are refusing as well. There is also a problem with legalities due to legal action. There are also patients who need urgent care who can't be transferred," says Rabothata.


Rabothata says a team has been set up to ensure that all patients are transferred.


"As soon as we are done with the process, you will be informed," says Rabothata.


Meanwhile, the DA's Jack Bloom says he is concerned about the slow progress in holding those accountable for the more than 100 patient deaths. 

Bloom has also expressed concern about 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," says Bloom.

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