Progress in ensuring welfare of Esidimeni patients welcomed – Jack Bloom

DA says 91% of eligible patients have been relocated from NGOs

DA welcomes progress in ensuring welfare of Esidimeni patients

7 May 2017

I welcome the progress report given today by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa on the relocation of former Life Esidimeni mental health patients from unsuitable NGOs to facilities where they will receive good care.

According to Ramokgopa, 91% of eligible patients have been relocated from NGOs, with 750 patients sent to Clinix Selby Park (390), Baneng (232) and Waverley Care Centre (128).

Twenty NGOs have been closed and the remaining 67 patients are at nine NGOs where families and patients have resisted their transfer or legal action has been taken by the NGO.

The non-negotiable issue is that all NGOs with mental health patients must be properly licensed. If patients and their families are happy and if the NGOs can prove that they meet the licensing standard then they should be allowed to keep the patients.

The partnership model with NGOs should continue provided there is proper monitoring to ensure that standards are maintained.

I hope that the department listens to the wishes of patients and families to resolve this issue in an amicable manner.

The whole Esidimeni debacle arose from arrogant top-down decision-making which should give way to a more consultative and inclusive approach.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, 7 May 2017