The Gauteng MEC for Health, Ms Qedani Mahlangu, announced on Tuesday, that the Department had given notice to terminate its contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni Hospital. The facility provides inpatient care, treatment and rehabilitation for people with chronic psychiatric disorders, and severe intellectual disability.
The contract termination is in line with the Mental Health Care Act no 17 of 2002, which encourages mental health care practitioners to treat mental health care users in the least restrictive environment, as reflected in Chapter two subsection 6(8)(1)(2): Persons providing care treatment and rehabilitation service must provide such services in a manner that facilitates community care of mental health care users, human dignity and privacy of every mental health care user must be respected, every mental health care user to develop to full potential and be integrated to the community.
“Consequently, as a Department, we want to reduce psychiatric patients at facilities by discharging all those who are responding well to treatment and integrate them back to communities and afford them treatment at their respective homes”, said MEC Mahlangu.
“Patients that require further management will be referred to our hospitals which have psychiatric wards and this will help as patients will be treated closer to home. We will also continue to work with NGOs in the mental health environment to assist us manage these patients accordingly. In preparation for the said termination, the Department will be referring less patients to the Life healthcare Esidimeni Hospital”, added the MEC.
“During 2014/2015 financial year the Department spent about R323 712 000.00 on the said hospital for treatment of around 2378 patients. It is important to note that the Department cannot afford this, the budget allocation which was previously utilised on the said facility will be reprioritised accordingly. This process will also assist our efforts to employ more employees at our psychiatric wards”, concluded MEC Mahlangu.
For more information please contact Steve Mabona on 072 574 3860.