In October 2015, the Gauteng Department of Health issued a media statement informing the public that it has terminated its contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni Hospital. About 200 severely mentally ill patients admitted in the Life Healthcare Esidimeni facilities in Gauteng will be discharged by the end of June 2016 to NGOs or back to their families. This termination of contract is happening without the establishment of community mental health services in the communities of Gauteng as outlined in the 2013-2020 National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan(page 23). It is also not in line with the Gauteng Strategic Plan(2014-2020), the departments own document.
The PHASA Mental Health Interest Group is part of a team of stakeholders who are concerned with patients’ rights related to the contract termination. The team is planning to work with the Gauteng Department of Health to avoid serious negative consequences to patients, families and the community .
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