Life Esidimeni patients to return after 94 deaths at unlicensed facilities
About 700 of the patients moved out of Life Esidimeni healthcare centres and placed in unlicensed facilities run by NGOs will be moved back.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday that his department and the Gauteng government were implementing the recommendations of the health ombudsman made after 94 patients died after being transferred to the NGOs.
Motsoaledi said that, of the 27 NGOs involved, seven had been shut down and the remainder would be.
A team of health professionals has visited the 20 NGOs to assess the quality of care patients are receiving.
Motsoaledi said he met the CEO of Life Esidimeni yesterday to discuss the company's readiness to take the patients back.
He was told that Life Esidimeni was ready to take 75 patients this week and would need eight weeks to prepare for others.
He said the team of health professionals had still to decide how many patients would be placed in Life Esidimeni centres.
The department is investigating which other facilities could take patients from the NGOs.
Patients will be moved slowly, Motsoaledi said.
"We dare not repeat the deadly mistakes of a hurried job."
He said the police were trying to identify 19 bodies, not claimed by relatives, who were believed to have been patients at Life Esidimeni healthcare centres and then transferred to NGOs.