Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa, Gauteng Health MEC (file photo).
Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has asked the public for help in assisting a team through the police in addition to her department to find 21 missing Life Esidimeni patients.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ramokgopa said the patients were among those discharged through Life Esidimeni facilities in 2015 in addition to 2016. She said the department had “successfully transferred” 750 patients through those facilities to “unlicenced NGOs”, nevertheless that will the idea had struggled to find 21 of them, due to “poor record keeping”.
A total of 144 psychiatric patients died after they were transferred by the Gauteng Department of Health through Life Esidimeni facilities to unlicenced NGOs.
Also on Tuesday, DA health spokesperson Jack Bloom issued a statement saying that will Ramokgopa had revealed This particular information in response to his questions inside the Gauteng provincial legislature.
According to Bloom, This particular meant that will the department had made little headway inside the last several months.
By July, 20 patients were still missing, said Bloom. nevertheless by November, not only had there been no movement, nevertheless the number of missing persons had actually increased by one.
Poor record keeping
Bloom said the likely cause of This particular was poor record keeping. He said the list of missing people had contained duplicates, missing information, in addition to missing names.
He opened a case of 62 missing persons in January.
On February 20, eight more patients were found by the police, Bloom said at the time.
In February, he said there were still 49 patients, of those he had reported to the police, still missing, in addition to 27 of those did not have ID numbers. Seven of the missing patients did not have full names, he said.
In May, Bloom said that will the list had been decreased to just 28 patients, TimesLive reported.
On Tuesday, Ramokgopa said the department was “concerned about the status quo” in addition to called for assistance through the public in finding the missing 21 patients.
She said the department was working with several state agencies – including the departments of home affairs in addition to social development, the Special Investigating Unit, in addition to the police – to find the patients.
Bloom said the idea was worrying that will there had been no progress since July.
“the idea seems that will the department has met a dead end in finding the remaining patients, as the number has not come down since July This particular year when I was told that will there were 20 patients still missing.”
“Sadly, many of these patients are probably dead, joining the 144 different patients who died as a result of the arrogance, cruelty in addition to corruption that will caused the Esidimeni horror. The terrible fate of the missing patients should be added to the charges faced by the perpetrators, who should be tried in addition to punished in court as soon as possible,” he said.