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DA: Gauteng Health hasn’t learned from Life Esidimeni tragedy

The DA has reacted to a revelation by Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa that the death of a psychiatric patient is being investigated at the Tembisa Hospital.

A screengrab of Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa testifying at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in Parktown.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng says it is concerned that the Gauteng Health Department has not learned from the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

It’s reacted to a revelation in the Gauteng Legislature by Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa that the death of a psychiatric patient is being investigated at the Tembisa Hospital.

Ramokgopa also told officials that since January last year, eight staff members at that facility have been assaulted by psychiatric patients.

The DA's Jack Bloom says the Tembisa Hospital needs help in the form of security, extra beds and a properly secured psychiatric ward.

“We can’t skimp in this area. We need to provide proper care and security and make sure treatment goes ahead in a good setting.”

The Health Department made international headlines last year when it emerged more than 140 psychiatric patients died after being moved to illegal NGOs in the province.