Gauteng mental health NGOs not licensed
5 April 2018
Mental health NGOs in Gauteng that look after more than 3000 patients have not received new licenses after their old ones expired at the end of March this year.
This is due to incompetence by the Gauteng Health Department which appears to have not learnt the lessons of the Esidimeni disaster when patients died after being sent to unlicensed NGOs.
Licensing requirements for 126 mental health NGOs who receive subsidies from the Department were tightened up last year, with licenses issued that expired on 31 March.
But 60 NGOs in Johannesburg and east Gauteng have inexplicably not received new licenses and are therefore technically illegal.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the NGOs also expired at the end of March, and have not been renewed or renegotiated.
The Department is exposing itself to severe legal liability by not issuing licenses to the NGOs and renewing their SLAs.
This inexcusable delay in issuing licenses should be rectified as soon as possible, along with strict monitoring to ensure that mental health patients are properly looked after in these NGOs.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 5 April 2018