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Esidimeni: 'R1.3m estimation of compensation to families as per life expectancy'

Section 27 asked actuary Gregory Whittaker to calculate how much government would have paid had each patient who died had they lived according to their life expectancies.

A screengrab of Gregory Whittaker testifying at the Esidimeni arbitration hearing on 27 November 2017. Picture: Screengrab/Youtube

JOHANNESBURG - An actuary at the Esidimeni hearings has given estimations on how much he thinks the families of each patient who died in the tragedy should be compensated by government, according to life expectancy.

Over 140 mentally ill people died after being moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped and illegal NGOs.

The transfers followed the Gauteng Health Department's decision to terminate its contract with the Life Esidimeni group, allegedly to save costs.

Section 27 asked Gregory Whittaker to calculate how much government would have paid had each patient who died had they lived according to their life expectancies.

Government was paying R320 per patient per day at Life Esidimeni, meaning the Health Department was paying the facility close to R10,000 for one patient per month.

For instance, if a patient was supposed to live until they were 40-years-old but died at an unlicensed NGO at the age of 29, government would owe their family whatever would’ve been paid for the remainder of their expected 11 years of life.

This sum would be just over R1.3 million.

But State lawyer Tebogo Hutamo has argued that a patient was never entitled to the money government was paying to Esidimeni.

“The report was actually prepared in an abstract of the relevant facts which should have been given to the witness.”

The hearings continue.

[LISTEN] Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings, 30 November 2017