The Gauteng Health Department has blamed poor record keeping for the difficulties in locating  missing mental health patients.

Twenty-one mental health patients, who were discharged after the Gauteng Health Department cancelled its contract with Life Esidimeni, have not been accounted for.

The department says efforts are being made to locate the patients including checking NGOs, hospitals and other provinces.

The department’s Lesemang Matuka says they are concerned about the 21 unaccounted mental health patients.

He says: “We are calling on members of our communities or anyone who might have information or can assist the team that has been set up to trace each and every one of these missing patients to come forward.”