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Life Esidimeni: Discharge process of psychiatric patients handled with care

Esidemeni insists it has facilitated the department's access to records and will continue to do so.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Life Esidimeni Hospital says the discharge process of 36 psychiatric patients who died after being transferred from their facility was handled with care and great concern.

The Gauteng Health Department says it has been waiting for patient files from the private facility to assess their medical records since the transfer process earlier this year.

Esidimeni insists it has facilitated the department's access to records and will continue to do so.

The hospital says all the patients' information was shared with the department so it could identify and confirm suitable facilities for them to be transferred to.

In a statement, the private facility has given a list of documents that it claims were given to the department including details of patient prescriptions and medication.

Esidimeni joined Gauteng Premier David Makhura in welcoming an investigation by the health ombudsman into the 36 deaths.

The premier's spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane said, "We would like to extend our condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and we hope the investigation will help us establish the facts."

The private hospital has also extended its condolences to the families of its former patients.

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