Good care for former Esidimeni patients at Selby Park Hospital
26 April 2017
Former mental patients from Life Esidimeni are receiving good treatment at the Clinix Selby Park Hospital in inner-city Johannesburg where they were sent from unlicensed NGOs.
I saw this yesterday (25 April) after I visited the hospital with my colleague Dr Neil Campbell MPL in order to check on the conditions of the patients.
Hospital management informed us that they had 380 former Esidimeni patients and were expecting 15 more before the end of the month.
They are fully staffed, with four psychiatrists and a team of medical doctors, social workers, dietitians and occupational therapists.
The patients receive a balanced diet with three full meals a day and snacks available in between.
The hospital has large grounds suitable for recreation and gardening. We saw a gym facility and table tennis, soccer tables and a library are also available.
The hospital has a renewable four year contract with the Gauteng Health Department which pays R495 a patient per day.
This amounts to about R15 000 per patient per month, which is a lot more than the R10 000 per patient that was paid under the contract that was cancelled last year with Esidimeni.
I am pleased that the patients are receiving good treatment and that about half of them can be rehabilitated to go home or to an assisted living facility.
The Department has committed itself to moving all patients from unlicensed NGOs by the end of this month, as agreed after the Health Ombudsman extended the original 45 day deadline from 1 February when his report was released.
About 200 patients who are still with NGOs will be moved to the re-opened Esidimeni Waverley facility in Germiston.
I am relieved that the patients will all be well looked after by the end of this month, but there is slow progress in bringing to account those responsible for the deaths of more than 100 patients.
The police investigations and the inquests are taking too long and should be speeded up.
There will only be true justice in this whole sorry saga when the perpetrators are judged and punished by a court of law.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 26 April 2017