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Esidimeni death toll passes 100: Health Ombudsman

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The death toll among mentally-ill patients in Gauteng has continued to rise with the latest figure passing 100.

That’s according to the Health Ombudsman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, who is briefing a joint Committee on Health from Parliament and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The mentally-ill patients were transferred from Life Esidimeni to various Gauteng NGOs which do not have valid licenses.

Makgoba says 80% of the deaths occurred in five of the 27 NGOs.

“It was 94 people that died, and it was quite clear to me that that was not going to be the end. And I put it as plus and I said we are still counting and I called it provisional. I can say to this committee that we are still correlating…I can’t say if that is the end but from the data that is coming one is quite confident that the figure has now gone above 100.”

On Tuesday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi gave the assurance that all the recommendations in the Health Ombudsman’s report would be implemented.

Seven of the NGO’s in Gauteng, where 94 mentally ill patients died in 2016, are to be closed down.

Motsoaledi also said Gauteng police are conducting forensic investigations on at least 19 unclaimed bodies believed to be those of some of the deceased mentally-ill patients.

[Source: SABC]


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