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Esidimeni tragedy: EFF, DA claim Gauteng Health Dept in shambles

The DA says the analysis proves the department has major concerns including underspending on emergency medical services by 10.3%.

FILE: Families and supporters of psychiatric patients who died after being transferred from Life Healthcare Esidimeni gather at the Gauteng Health MEC’s offices on 27 October 2016. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng says the Life Esidimeni tragedy is but the tip of the iceberg as far as problems in the Health Department are concerned.

The health portfolio committee met at the provincial legislature today to analyse the department’s third quarter report.

The DA’s Jack Bloom says Tuesday’s analysis proves that the department has major concerns including underspending on emergency medical services by 10.3%.

He says the department is in a shambles.

“There are still small companies that are going bankrupt because they haven’t been paid. This third quarter report, I think, has revealed that the department is in shambles.”

Further analysis of the report also shows that while refurbishment and the completion of numerous health care facilities lie in wait due to various reasons including red tape, the department has underspent by 12% on infrastructure.

The EFF’s Christina Mabala said: “Where people in Esidimeni, 94 and still counting, passed away and we’ve got the EMS issue, infant mortality and so many issues when it comes to health.”

The committee says it will ensure that all the recommendations by the Health Ombudsman are implemented.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)