Esidimeni patients moved to new home

File. More than 60 of 700 psychiatric patients who were once at Esidimeni Life clinic have so far been transferred from unlicensed facilities. Photo: / Zoriah

JOHANNESBURG - The relocation of former Life Esidimeni patients from unlicensed NGOs continues, with dozens headed to the Clinix Selby Park Hospital in central Johannesburg.

The Gauteng health department says the transfer will be done slowly to reduce the impact on the psychiatric patients.

Sixty-three of some 700 patients at unlicensed NGOs have been moved so far.

READ: Two unlawful Esidimeni NGOs shut down

Their relocation follows the tragic death of more than 100 former Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients who had been moved to NGOs found not to have been licensed.

Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa said a team of three doctors would assist with the patients' move.

"We should learn from past experience that the patients are vulnerable and that we should work at the pace that is in the best interest of these patients.”

Each patient is costing the government just under R500 a day.

A number of health officials were being held accountable for the Esidimeni tragedy, Ramokgopa said.

“Seven have been suspended, which includes the head of the department and the director of mental health services, plus the other five who were mentioned staff members. We ’ve also suspended the chair of the Mental Health Review Board,” she added.



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