Gauteng health trying to correct 'wrongs of the past'

Photo_Web_Esidimeni_Beds_201017

File: The father of one of 141 patients who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy testified that 40 beds lined up in a garage, and that there was no privacy.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Health Department says it&39;s trying to correct the wrongs of the past.

The department has issued 133 licences to mental health NGOs to care for patients in the new financial year 2018/19.

This follows the department&39;s disastrous plan to move psychiatric patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to unlicensed NGOs.

A total of 144 patients died after they were transferred.

The government now has to compensate the victims&39; families, as well as those who survived the transfer.

 READ: Life Esidimeni hearings cost will total R47m: DA

The department said the licences will be audited annually, and the organisations will be closely monitored.

“Based on the lessons learnt from the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the Department had to take extraordinary measures to increase the number of audits to NGOs in the interest of good quality health care,” it said in a statement.

The department has also quelled allegations of delays in the payment of subsidies.

“There is no truth in this, and there are no recorded incidents or complaints about the delay or non-payment of subsidies to the NGOs.”