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GP govt working to move patients from unlicensed NGOs

In his report on the deaths of 94 mentally ill patients, Prof Malegapuru Makgoba recommended that patients be removed from unlicensed institutions.

Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba joined by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi give feed back on the Life Esidimeni patients' deaths. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – As the Gauteng provincial government says it’s prioritising the move of mentally ill patients from Life Healthcare Esidimeni away from unlawful Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), questions have been raised around what consequences the individual owners of these organisations will face.

Earlier this week, Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba released the findings of his investigation into the circumstances around the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients.

He found that all 27 of the NGOs were not licenced or equipped to house the patients.

Life Esidimeni: How the tragedy unfolded

A look at the timeline of the events following the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients from the Life Esidimeni hospital.

Professor Makgoba has recommended that the mentally ill patients be removed from these NGOs and transferred to more suitable institutions.

His spokesperson Ricardo Makhanya says their job was to make recommendations and what happens to the owners of these NGOs is now in the hands of the Gauteng provincial government.

“Our work was to make recommendations, as for the NGOs, the Gauteng Department of Health must deal with those ones.”

The provincial government's spokesperson Thabo Masebe says their priority right now is to take patients out of the unlawful NGOs.

“By moving the people, the Gauteng provincial government will terminate its contract, the purpose of which was for those NGOs to care for the patients.”

Former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu resigned just hours before Makgoba's findings were made public.

Next week, former health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa is expected to assume the position again.

Read the final report below:

The report into the ‘circumstances surrounding the deaths of mentally ill patients: Gauteng province’ by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)