Minister for Health, Aaron Motsoaledi has reported on the progress of the recommendations made by the Health Ombudsman, following the report on the circumstances surrounding the death of mentally ill patients in the province.
The Ombudsman, Molegapuru Makhoba, released his report on the 01 February, with eighteen recommendations to be implemented by both the Gauteng Provincial Government and the National Department of Health.
Minister Motsoaledi reiterated that the interest of mental health patients was of paramount importance, promising that the mistake of a hurried, chaotic and hushed-hushed job that led to the circumstance will never be repeated by government.
He said that to ensure the safety of mental health patients, the transfers out of NGO's and into care facilities are systematic and planning is carefully done.
“The transfers are supervised by the professional and technical teams as it should have been the case even before the Gauteng Marathon Project started. Families will always be part of the decision making process and the actual process of transfer,” said Minister Motsoaledi.
Since the release of the report, the Gauteng Provincial Government appointed a task team to relocate the patient from the NGO’s to other Facilities.
Newly appointed, Department of Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa has also met with the affected families together with social workers.
In connection to the suspension of some of health department officials affected by the recommendations, Minister Motsoaledi said, “Dr Selebano was placed on precautionary suspension in terms of the public service regulations on the 8th of February 2017 and Dr Ernest Kenoshi the CEO of Steve Biko Academic Hospital was appointed as the Acting Head of the Department,”
Disciplinary proceeding against Dr Makgabo Manamela has commenced and a letter of intent has been sent to her.
Minister Motsoaledi said, “Most if not all of the proposals made are actually covered by the Ombudsman's recommendations in one way or the other.”