Overhaul entire Gauteng health care system – SA Psychiatrists

2017-02-08 20:02
Virginia Machpelah, 50, was one of the 36 psychiatric patients who died after being transferred from Life Healthcare Esidimeni. (Supplied)

Virginia Machpelah, 50, was one of the 36 psychiatric patients who died after being transferred from Life Healthcare Esidimeni. (Supplied)

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Pretoria – The SA Society of Psychiatrists (Sasop) on Wednesday called for an urgent review and overhaul of Gauteng’s entire health care system.

“The current situation is a direct result of accumulating years of neglect, delay and failure to prioritise mental health care services in Gauteng as well as in other provinces,” the organisation’s president Bernard Janse van Rensburg said in a statement.

He was responding to Health Ombudsman Prof Malegapuru Makgoba’s findings that 94 mentally-ill patients died after the Gauteng health department moved them from the Life Esidimeni facilities to several unlicensed NGOs last year. It was done to cut costs.

Van Rensburg called for the differential licensing of non-governmental organisations.

There should be one licence for those who provided safe residential care, another for those who provided psycho-social rehabilitative care, and another still for those who provided daycare services.

Van Rensburg said those patients transferred from the Life Esidimeni Hospital should be immediately moved back.

“[They should] be accommodated in facilities such as those operated by Life Esidimeni Hospital, as a safe temporary 'holding space', until the detail and logistics of the implementation of a proper de-institutionalisation process could be established.”

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  healthcare

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