185 psychiatric patients short of food at Pretoria NGO - Jack Bloom

DA barred from visiting centre, told clearance is needed from health district

185 Psychiatric patients short of food at Pretoria NGO 

21 October 2016

The Tshepong Health Centre in Attridgeville looks after 185 psychiatric patients who were transferred earlier this year from Life Healthcare Esidimeni, but relies on charities and relatives to assist in bringing food to feed them.

I have established this from various sources after I was barred yesterday by a security guard from visiting this centre. He said I needed permission from the CEO Karina Morale and when I spoke to her she said that I needed to get clearance from the health district.

I am concerned that four patients have died this year at this centre which is struggling with funding as many of its patients cannot get disability grants as they do not have ID numbers, and the Gauteng Health Department has also not provided sufficient support.

The centre gets food from an Islamic charity and Tshwane Health and Social Development MMC Sakkie du Plooy has also arranged food assistance, mattresses and second hand clothes after DA MP Bronwynn Engelbrecht raised the matter.

Some relatives have expressed concern that caregivers at the centre are not sufficiently qualified to look after the special needs of the patients.

I have requested the Health Committee of the Gauteng Legislature to do an official oversight visit to the centre as soon as possible to ensure that the large number of psychiatric patients who are there receive decent care.

The centre should welcome inspection visits if they have nothing to hide.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, 21 October 2016