16/03/2017 09:44 SAST | Updated 16/03/2017 10:28 SAST

New Task Team To Investigate Psychiatric Hospitals

Following the Life Esidimeni deaths, the OHSC will probe psychiatric facilities.

Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) has formed a task team to probe state mental health facilities, Business Day reported on Thursday. The OHSC is a statutory body tasked with overseeing the country's healthcare facilities.

More than 100 psychiatric patients died when the Gauteng provincial health department moved them from Life Esidimeni centres to NGOs, many of which were unlicensed and unable to care for the patients.

According to Business Day, the OHSC did not visit any psychiatric hospitals in the 2015/16 financial year.

OHSC acting CEO Bafana Msibi told Business Day that the task team would pilot an assessment system for state psychiatric hospitals, to be completed by September.

Meanwhile, the majority of healthcare facilities inspected by the OHSC in 2015/16 performed dismaly during their inspections, failing to reach the 70% pass mark.

According to Business Day, in the Free State, none of the 53 clinics inspected passed the assessment, while the vacancy rates in the North West's psychiatric hospitals was raised as a serious concern by MPs in Parliament.