Esidimeni patient deaths said to have rose to 60

The DA's Jack Bloom is looking forward to the Health Ombudsman's report regarding the deaths of former Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients. Photo:

A report will released by the Health Ombudsman regarding the deaths of Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients in Gauteng.

The report scheduled to be released on Wednesday, 18 January. The probe into the patients’ deaths was launched in September last year after Qedani Mahlangu, Gauteng Health MEC disclosed their deaths in a reply to Jack Bloom, DA Shadow MEC for Health’s questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

“I commend Professor Malegapuru Makgoba for making his report public in good time so that the full truth is revealed. This will hopefully provide guidelines for the future human treatment of vulnerable psychiatric patients,” Bloom explained.

In the reply it was disclosed that 36 patients died at Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) they were transferred to from Esidimeni.

Since the initial reply it has been revealed by Bloom that the death toll rose to approximately 60.

Bloom has subsequently called for Mahlangu’s resignation or firing by Premier David Makhura.

“[I]t is clear that the transfer of patients was poorly handled. She was also warned that deaths could result because certain NGOs were not suitable to treat them,” Bloom said.

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