Gauteng News

Life Esidimeni Arbitration Process Commences for redress and compensation

Charmaine Kgopa

The Life Esidimeni Alternative Dispute Resolution officially proceeded on Monday, 09 October 2017. The arbitration process saw the Life Esidimeni families of the deceased patients, and surviving patients with their legal representative, as well as the former Deputy Justice Moseneke gathered at Emoyeni Conference Centre in Johannesburg. This is so that a point of departure can be determined through mechanisms of redress and compensation.

The three week long process includes the Health Ombud Professor Makgoba, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Gauteng MEC for Health Gwen Ramokgopa and the National Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi as part of the witness list.  During this time, the witnesses will have to account for the circumstances that led to the tragedy known as Life Esidimeni.

Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgobu took to the stand as a state witness hence revealing that ten more patients had died as a result of negligence. The ten were transferred to a health care facility known as Cullinan Care Centre, which was later found to be operating illegally. This has totalled the number of patients who have died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy to 118.

The Gauteng Provincial Government is committed to fulfilling its commitment in ensuring that the dignity and the human rights of mental health patients is restored. This includes all vulnerable groups in Gauteng. To demonstrate this, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, together with the MEC for Health Gwen Ramokgopa have signed a pledge to signify their commitment to support mental healthcare.

Premier Makhura also expressed his concern for providing mental health support and facilities.

“The right to mental health requires care and support facilities, services that are available, accessible, acceptable and of good quality. Rights-based care and support for mental health is an integral part of health care for all,” said Premier Makhura.