NEWS

Esidimeni Patients' Deaths Probe Goes National

The SAHRC has been asked to investigate whether more patients died outside of Gauteng.

20/02/2017 12:51 SAST | Updated 20/02/2017 15:16 SAST
Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will investigate whether more psychiatric patients have died in provinces besides Gauteng as a result of being moved from Life Esidimeni centres in the country to NGOs, according to The Star.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi reportedly asked the SAHRC to look into the matter after more than 100 patients died after being moved to the NGOs, which were found to be not properly registered and not equipped to treat the patients.

Tone of the recommendations by the health ombudsman, who investigated the deaths, was that an investigation be expanded to other parts of the country.

Motsoaledi told The Star he had written to the SAHRC to ask that the investigation begin. He told the paper that no stone would be left unturned.

SAHRC spokesperson Gushwell Brooks told The Star that the investigation would be done "systemically", and that already the SAHRC office in the Eastern Cape was looking into questions around the planned movement of patients.

Meanwhile, the death toll continues to rise as more deaths are reported. Last week, DA MPL in Gauteng, Jack Bloom said he had been informed of another death by a relative of the patient.

The patient was said to have died in an "emaciated" condition.