1 February 2017

South Africa: Premier Makhura Must Take Stern Action Over 94 Patient Deaths

press release

I am shocked to the core by the revelation today by the Health Ombudsman that 94 psychiatric patients died (and possibly more) after their transfer last year from Life Healthcare Esidimeni.

Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu lied to me in the Gauteng Legislature on 13 September last year when she said that 36 patients had died in the NGOs in which they were placed. Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba said that on that date 77 patients had already died.

Premier Makhura has to fire Mahlangu and ensure that disciplinary action is taken against the 11 senior health department officials identified in the report.

Criminal charges should also be laid against all implicated parties including those in the five NGOs where 80% of the patients died.

Premier Makhura must also ensure that immediate steps are taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all the patients who are still with the NGOs.

Makura's image has taken a severe blow because of his failure to fire Mahlangu earlier and to replace her with a competent and caring Health MEC.

This is a crisis for the ANC in Gauteng and all those who failed to act earlier against Mahlangu.

I will study the full report and monitor the actions based on its findings.

Jack Bloom

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

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