OHSC Fraud Hotline

The Office of Health Ombudsperson investigates the deaths of psychiatric patients in Gauteng

The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi requested the Health Ombudsperson, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba to investigate the deaths of 36 patients in mental health care facilities in the Gauteng Province. The MEC of Health in Gauteng, MsQedani Mahlangu was supportive that the Health Ombudsperson should investigate the matter as priority and urgent. Taking into account the nature of the matter, the Health Ombudsperson accepted the responsibility and will commence with the investigation as requested.

As part of initiating the investigation, the Office of Health Ombudsperson has been in contact with the MEC for Health in Gauteng to determine the origin and/or background of the matter. Furthermore, the Health Ombudsperson has requested from the MEC of Health and Gauteng Department of Health access to all the relevant documents and records relating the matter. The scope for the investigation will focus on quality management and care of the patients concerned based on clinical records and any other information relevant to the matter which will assist the investigation and fact finding. ‘I view these deaths in serious light and would like to bring conclusion speedily to lessen the pain and burden affected families’, said Prof Makgoba.

The Health Ombudsperson has, in the interim, constituted a team of five (4) independent psychiatric experts with vast clinical expertise as well as (1) expert experienced in public health to assist with the investigation. The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) has also constituted a team of inspectors to conduct inspections at the health establishments concerned. The purpose of the inspections is to assess the veracity of the allegations as well as to determine the capability and competence of the alleged health establishments with regards to the management and care for mental health care patients.

The Office of Health Ombudsperson has been assured by the MEC for Health in Gauteng Province, on 20 September 2016 that all the necessary and requested documents are being prepared and will be forwarded to the Office of Health Ombudsperson on or before 24 September 2016 in both hardcopy and electronic version.

Furthermore, the Office of Health Ombudsperson is finalising the investigation of the death of 5 patients in Bongani Hospital in Free State Province and the alleged incidents of poor health care in Polokwane Hospital in Limpopo Province.

Issued by Prof MW Makgoba

Health Ombudsperson

The Office of Health Ombudsperson

For more information, please contact: Ricardo Mahlakanya: Communication & Stakeholder Relations; Tel. 012 339 8631; Email. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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