SHOCK REPORT ON PATIENT DEATHS
I am concerned by the report today that as many as 80 psychiatric patients may have died in Gauteng last year after the Gauteng Health Department cancelled its contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni which was caring for about 2000 patients. This is way higher than the 39 deaths that have previously been reported.
It is unfortunate that the Health Ombudsman's report has been delayed because Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu asked for further time to respond to it.
According to reported leaks about his findings, he calls for Mahlangu and two senior department officials to take responsibility for the deaths.
I hope that Mahlangu meets her deadline to respond to the report by Tuesday this week and that the full report is made public shortly thereafter.
Her day of reckoning is coming closer as she should have resigned or been fired after the first disclosure of the deaths in September last year after I asked a question about this in the Gauteng Legislature.
There needs to be accountability and relatives of the deceased patients deserve to know the truth as soon as possible.
Statement issued by Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 22 January 2017