PRETORIA, South African President Jacob Zuma has signed a proclamation authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate the Gauteng Province Health Department over its appointment of 28 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to take care of mentally ill patients.
More than 100 mentally ill people lost their lives when they were removed to various NGOs in 2016 from facilities of Life Esidimeni, the largest and oldest hospital public-private partnership in South Africa, which had been engaged in delivering healthcare services to indigent patients, under contract to the national and provincial departments of Health and Social Development, for over five decades.
Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba earlier in 2017 revealed that the provincial health department had not followed procedure and dumped the patients in facilities not equipped to handle them, essentially leaving them to die. This led to the resignation of then provincial Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for health, Qedani Mahlangu.
President Zuma's proclamation calls for an investigation into these NGO's. The SIU is authorised to investigate any unlawful or improper act or omission by officials of the government department or owners or staff of the NGOs.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK