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Life Esidimeni: Search continues for 8 missing mental health patients

The Life Esidimeni saga has yet to be resolved, with Gauteng Health confirming that the search for eight missing patients is ongoing, reports News24.

The tragic incident, which resulted in the deaths of a number of mental health patients and the disappearance of others, continues to haunt the provincial government.

After the termination of a contract between the Gauteng health department and the Life Esidimeni group in 2015, despite warnings, the department moved the patients to non-governmental facilities, most of which lacked the experience or capacity to deal with mental health patients. Due to neglect, dehydration and hunger, about 144 of them died between March and December 2016.

A court judgment ruled that the province should compensate families of the affected patients R1.2 million each.

Gauteng Health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said they were working with Sassa, SAPS and Home Affairs to find the missing patients: Sassa could not confirm if any of them receive or have applied for a social grant, due to their surnames, names, and dates of birth not matching those on the system. The police have also not been able to track them down.

"The contact details of relatives were also incorrect. The department will continue to work to resolve this matter," Kekana said.


News24 article – Life Esidimeni: Gauteng govt continues search for 8 missing patients (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Yet another postponement for Life Esidimeni hearing


The long and painful road to the Life Esidimeni inquest


Life Esidimeni survivors face bleak future — NGOs


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