Despite South Africa’s listeriosis outbreak death toll having topped 100 and confirmed cases numbering well over 800, Joburgers appear not to be concerned about taking precautions against infection.
The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) says it is not their job to verify 12 more casualties from the Life Esidimeni move, shifting the responsibility onto Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.
Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has annihilated the claims and excuses put forward by the Gauteng Health Department as the reason why they went ahead with the deadly Life Esidimeni move that saw 144 mental patients die.
Here, Health-e has only profiled 10 former Life Esidimeni (LE) patients, and the circumstances around their deaths, but it provides a glimpse into the dignity denied to both mental health care users and their families before, during and after the fatal move.
No action has been taken against 11 health officials implicated in Esidimeni crisis, former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu who made the decision that led to 141 deaths remains illusive and the “bankrupt” Gauteng Health Department is currently unable to fund a compensation ruling.
A family member of a patient who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy has suggested amnesty be given to implicated non-governmental organisation (NGO) officials in the interests of “getting answers”.
Establishing the infrastructure needed to take proper full-time care of mentally ill patients is an expensive exercise, and should never have been regarded as an area where costs could be cut.