Esidimeni tragedy: Review board officials suspended

File: Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has suspended all mental health review board members following the Life Esidimeni tragedy that resulted to the death of over 100 psychiatric patients. Photo: Gallo / Jabu Kumalo

JOHANNESBURG –  Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa says all members of the mental health review board have been suspended and will be subjected to an inquiry into their fitness to hold office as a result of the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Ramokgopa was delivering her budget vote speech in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

More than 100 psychiatric patients died after the department terminated its contract with Life Esidimeni.

READ: Life Esidimeni offered 'good value for money', Health Department told in 2015

Since being appointed Gauteng Health MEC in February, Ramokgopa has expressed concern over the mental health review board, questioning how the Life Esidimeni tragedy happened under its watch.

Ramokgopa told members on Tuesday afternoon that two appointments had been made so far.

“In particular doctors Motlala and Grobbler and the nominated candidates for this five district mental health review boards has been done.”

She said the structure of the board will also change.

READ: DA satisfied with Life Esidimeni patients' treatment at new hospitals 

“The single purpose wide mental health review board has been replaced by district-based mental health review boards with the secretariat support that must show independence of these four boards as required by the medical act.”

The Gauteng Health MEC says the suspension of the previous board members is in line with Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba's recommendations.

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