700 psychiatric patients still with illegal NGOs‚ health MEC reveals

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa. Picture Credit: Peter Mogaki. © Sowetan.
Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa. Picture Credit: Peter Mogaki. © Sowetan.

Gauteng Health MEC‚ Gwen Ramokgopa‚ has given an update on the transfer of psychiatric patients from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that were found to be operating illegally by the Health Ombudsman a month ago.

“Out of 763 patients in various NGOs‚ only 63 were successfully transferred to different facilities this week‚ with the remainder of 700 patients still at the.. NGOs‚” Ramokgopa said on Wednesday afternoon.

She said the department would be “paying R459 per patient per day” at the Selby Park Hospital‚ in Johannesburg‚ that has 642 beds and other facilities to cater for the needs of the psychiatric patients.

Dr Dumani Kula‚ deputy CEO of the Clinix Health Group‚ added that the hospital is amongst the high-capacity private hospitals in the country and can‚ therefore‚ cater to the needs of the patients.

According to the MEC‚ eight officials implicated in the crisis had been suspended.

“Out of the 27 NGO’s‚ five were initially closed down. An additional two were closed down since and there... [are] 20 NGO’s that are still [caring for] patients‚” said Ramokgopa

“The process is underway to contact families [of patients]. We face challenges reaching certain families. We want to urge the public to contact us as we are struggling to reach many families of the patients‚” said the MEC.

She urged families of patients to use the official SMS and WhatsApp number‚ 082 809 0131‚ or call toll free on 0800 111 117. Failing that‚ a land line number to call is 011 564 2235/15.

“We are working as hard as we can to meet the 45 working days as recommended by the Health Ombudsman‚” Ramokhopa said.


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