Monday, 15 April, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalDozens of former Life Esidimeni patients remain missing

Dozens of former Life Esidimeni patients remain missing

Almost 60 former Life Esidimeni patients are still missing after the botched move of more than 1,000 patients from its psychiatric facilities to ill-equipped, fraudulently licensed and unlicensed NGOs, reports New Frame.

A criminal case was opened for the missing patients, but nothing has happened since,

At least 144 people died after being moved from the specialist facilities when the Gauteng Health Department ended its contract with Life Esidimeni. A number of health organisations were against the rushed move, in part because there were few facilities able to care for these patients.

The NPA said in September 2019 that it did not have enough evidence to charge government health officials and NGO owners for the 144 deaths. It announced the judicial inquest instead that resumed at the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) under Judge Mmonoa Teffo.

The 2018 Life Esidimeni arbitration recommendations included compensation, funeral costs and family counselling. Only a portion of the money has been paid out, the recommended memorial has not been built and there has been no tangible increase in investment in mental health or the general health system in South Africa.

The families hope the NPA will use the evidence given at the inquest to initiate criminal proceedings.


New Frame article – Life Esidimeni inquest fills in the gaps (Creative Commons Licence)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Life Esidimeni inquest: Judge rules on court’s right to steer proceedings


No inspections or process followed, says ex-Life Esidimeni official


Inquest roundup: Life Esidimeni leader wanted to stop patient transfers


Life Esidimeni: Search continues for 8 missing mental health patients


Life Esidimeni survivors face bleak future — NGOs



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