15 May 2018

South Africa: NGO to Take Limpopo Health Dept Back to Court Over Patient Transfers

The Ndlovu Care Group is accusing the Limpopo Health Department of moving patients without having a proper plan in place.

It announced on Monday that it had instructed its lawyers to seek another interdict after the provincial health department began relocating patients from its facilities to government hospitals.

"We have instructed our legal team to pursue all available options in law to ensure that both the SAHRC and the Limpopo Department of Health are held fully accountable for the decisions they have taken," said group spokesperson Seun Mogotsi.

Earlier this month, the Limpopo High Court ordered that the department and the NGO return to the negotiating table to come up with a takeover plan.

The NGO had gone to court to seek an interdict after Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba announced that her department was cutting funding to the NGO, which runs ARV and TB treatment programmes in the province.

More than 3 000 patients receive treatment at its various centres.

Ramathuba said the contract with the NGO had cost the department R27m a year. Mogotsi said there still wasn't a proper plan in place.

"The court order in no way authorises the irresponsible transfer of patients, without the existence of a proper plan and the infrastructure in public health facilities being in order," he said.

Mogotsi added that there were inadequate resources at government hospitals to care for the patients.

Departmental spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said, as far as they were concerned, the Ndlovu Care Group had signed a deal with the government.

He said the department could not comment further about the agreement.

Source: News24

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