It seems Gauteng provincial government is all out to address difficulties suffered by mentally challeged persons in the province after it splashed a whooping R890 million on these less fortunate patients.
“Over the medium term‚ R893-million has been allocated to support patients with mental health conditions. As provincial treasury‚ we are committed to supporting the health department in implementing the recommendations of the health ombud report‚” Finance MEC Babara Creecy said in her budget speech
She said when the Life Esidimeni tragedy dispute resolution is complete‚ government will appropriate resources from the provincial revenue fund for the families of the victims.
Creecy’s announcement comes after health ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba found that more than 100 mental healthcare patients died after an estimated 1‚374 mentally ill patients were transferred from the Life Esidimeni Healthcare Centre a year ago.
Creecy said the health budget has been increased to R40.2 billion from R37.6 billion in the previous financial year.
The outcome of the Life Esidimeni report saw Qedani Mahlangu stepping down as health MEC.
Trade union Solidarity’s division Helping Hand last month announced plans to launch a class action lawsuit against the Gauteng health department on behalf of relatives of the deceased.
Key allocations include:
– R9-billion to enhance service delivery outcomes in district hospitals‚ community health clinics and community based centres;
– R7.3-billion for central hospitals;
– R3.7-billion for treatment and prevention of HIV/Aids and tuberculosis;
– R990-million for emergency medical services; and
– R924-million for medicine‚ medical supplies for the appointment of key personnel in the department.