Gauteng health says Sadag’s move to take it to court is ‘unfair’
The NGO has filed an urgent court to stop the department from relocating 50 mentally ill patients.
JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Health Department has lashed out at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) for filing an urgent court application to stop it from removing 50 mentally ill patients from the Esidimeni hospital group.
The department says it would be wrong to keep patients at the group's hospital, when they are in fact ready to go home or to a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Sadag is arguing in the High Court sitting in Johannesburg this afternoon that the department is violating an earlier agreement that no patients will be removed or discharged, as government's contract with the group comes to an end.
Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu says the group's move to take the department to court is unfair.
"It's important that Sadag works with us and co-operates with us. We have committed that we will never throw anybody in the streets. I think what they are doing to put pressure by going to court is unfair to the work that we are trying to do to support the families, as well also support the patients who are affected."
The NGO claims it has been kept out of the loop, and that it doesn't know if the facilities are adequate to cater for the mentally ill patients.
But Mahlangu denies this.
The department is opposing the application, as it wants to go ahead with relocating 50 of the patients.