Health care group signs agreement to transfer HIV patients to govt facilities

2018-05-15 13:50
Hospital medical equipment. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Hospital medical equipment. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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The Ndlovu Care Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Limpopo health department to transfer HIV patients, who are on anti-retroviral treatment, from its facilities.

Department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana confirmed the group had signed a deal with the government, and that he could not comment further about the agreement.

Earlier this month, the Limpopo High Court ordered that the department and the NGO return to the negotiating table to come up with a takeover plan.

READ: Limpopo health dept and NGO negotiate to prevent 'another Life Esidimeni crisis'

Three patients had gone to court to seek an interdict after Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba announced that her department was cutting funding to the NGO, which runs ARV and TB treatment programmes in the province.

The department wanted patients to rather use government hospitals to access treatment.

Ramathuba previously said the contract with the NGO cost them R27m a year, while the department spends R3 800 per patient.

More than 3 000 patients receive treatment at its various centres.

The SA Human Rights Commission said at the time that the negotiations would help prevent another Life Esidimeni crisis, where over 140 psychiatric patients died after being moved from Life Healthcare Esidimeni to several NGOs.

*A previous version of this story stated that the Ndlovu group would be applying to interdict the relocation. This was incorrect, and the NGO informed News24 that a memorandum of understanding was signed with the health department. The previous application for an interdict was also brought by three patients and not the NGO. News24 apologises and regrets the error. 

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Read more on:    polokwane  |  healthcare

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