2017/02/07 Gopolang Leepile
The Gauteng Provincial Government has announced that is has commenced with implementations of the health ombudsman, Malegapuru Makgoba’s recommendations following the release of the Report on the Circumstances Surrounding the Deaths of Mentally Ill Patients in the Gauteng Province.
This comes after Premier David Makhura’s assurance that he will fully and urgently implement the recommendations without any delays.
The provincial government said that it has established a team which is co-chaired by the Director-General in the office of the Premier, Phindile Baleni and national Health Department DG, Precious Matsoso. The team also compromises of senior officials, mental health specialists, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists, civil society organisations and family representatives to respond to the recommendations.
In a statement released on Monday, the provincial government announced that new MEC for Health, Gwen Ramokgopa has been sworn in. A disciplinary hearing against health officials implicated in the report commenced on Friday.
The Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project (GMHMP) has been stopped and a team of specialists and officials are visiting the affected NGOs to find suitable institutions for patients and are said to have been advised on avoiding negative impacts.
Forensic investigations are underway, and the provincial commissioner of the South African Police Service has been requested to centralise all the cases related to the GMHMP, to ensure that they are prioritised.
The national department of health has started with the process of reviewing the licenses of the 27 NGOs. Consultations by Premier Makhura and Minister for Health Arron Motsoaledi, with the affected families are underway on alternative dispute resolutions, more so to offer closure and redress.
Provincial spokesperson, Thabo Masebe said: “Gauteng Health will work together with the National Department to overhaul mental healthcare in the province.”
He also said that the World Health Organisation has contacted the department to provide expert assistance in the re-establishment of quality mental health care in the province.