Sunday, 14 April, 2024
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DA: Call for release of financial report on Durban & Coastal Mental Health

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the provinceʼs MECs for Social Development and Health to immediately release the report into the state of finances at the Durban & Coastal Mental Health (DCMH).

Writing in PoliticsWeb, Tim Brauteseth, KZN National Council of Provinces spokesperson, the document into the financial affairs of the non-profit organisation had been commissioned by both departments after reports that it was staring into the abyss of bankruptcy.

He said the DA was aware that the report had been completed and was with the departments at present. Despite this, “all our requests for the document have been met with a stony silence”.

“The crisis at DCMH, which through its various homes cares for more than 600 000 patients annually, is a sickening shame, given its proud 80-year history. Regretfully, this record came to a grinding halt in 2019 when the Board was hijacked by rogue criminal elements, who saw the R13m Department of Social Development (DSD) annual subsidy as a convenient cash cow to fund lavish lifestyles, luxury cars and homes. This, at the expense of those patients desperately in need.

“The resulting financial crisis has led to many service providers withdrawing due to non-payment, while other donors have turned their backs on the embattled organisation. This has plunged DCMH and its homes into crisis and protests have now sprung up, as witnessed by DA ward councillor Warren Burne when he visited the facility this week.

“Instead of acting swiftly and ensuring the proper functioning of this important facility, both KZNʼs DSD and the DoH kept their heads firmly wedged in the sand, only recently commissioning the probe.”

He said the investigation was now complete, “yet the report is lying on the desk of the respective MECs”.

“Instead of allowing the dust to accumulate and the moss to grow, it must now be made public and those responsible for this unconscionable fraudulent behaviour held to account. This is the only way that the rot can be cleared and rebuilding of this facility can begin. It is also the only way to avoid another tragedy the likes of Life Esidimeni. The DA remains committed to pursuing this matter tirelessly and will always be the defender of the vulnerable against the greedy hyenas of corruption.”

 

PoliticsWeb article – DA calls for report on finances of Durban & Coastal Mental Health to be released (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

WHO sketches dire state of mental health treatment in SA

 

Life Esidimeni survivors face bleak future — NGOs

 

Locked up KZN mentally ill patient found with burn wounds

 

The sums on mental health care in SA are 'not pretty'

 

 

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