02/02/2017 09:26 SAST | Updated 02/02/2017 14:08 SAST

EC MEC Ignores Life Esidimeni Report And Goes Ahead With Decision To Move Frail Care Patients In PE to NGOs

Dek: MEC says she does not deal with sick people

Just one day after a shocking report by the health ombudsman was released, detailing the deaths of 94 mentally ill patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni hospital in Gauteng to various discredited NGOs, the Eastern Cape Social Development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi is pressing ahead to move frail care patients in Port Elizabeth to NGOs. This is according to a report in The Herald.

The paper reported that there was an outcry last year when the department said it would move 240 patients from the two state-funded frail-care facilities in Port Elizabeth run by Life Esidimeni, the same organisation where the 94 mentally ill patients in Gauteng were moved from, to NGOs.

Sihlayi was quoted by the paper as saying she the ombudsman's report would not change her mind. She told The Herald: "Our situation is not the same thing. That was health. I don't deal with sick people... Do you remember when I said I have no intention to extend the contract for Life Healthcare (Life Esidimeni's parent company)? Nothing has changed.

A group of patient's families is challenging her decision not to extend the contract, the paper reported.

Her decision has already caused outrage on social media.

The DA in the Eastern Cape has called on the MEC to reconsider and study the ombudsman's report.