GAUTENG Premier David Makhura has suspended the head of the provincial health department‚ Dr Tiego Selebano‚ following findings of gross negligence in the handling of psychiatric patient care.
The department has also given the province’s director of mental health services‚ Dr Makgabo Manamela‚ notice of intention to suspend.
“The suspension and notice of intention to suspend have been effected in line with recommendation 2 and 3 of the Health Ombud report released by Professor Malegapuru Makgoba following the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of mentally ill patients in Gauteng‚” Makhura’s office said in a statement.
This comes after the health ombudsman found that 94 psychiatric patients died after being transferred from Life Esidimeni care centres to 27 unregistered NGOs across the province. The ombudsman called for urgent action to be taken‚ including the closure of some NGOs and for the remaining patients to be moved to registered facilities.
Dr Ernest Kenoshi‚ CEO of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital‚ has been appointed as acting HOD.
Kenoshi holds a Masters in Public Health from Wits University and has previously worked as a Senior Superintendent and Principal Medical officer in various hospitals around Gauteng‚ the Premier’s office said.
“He has been managing the Steve Biko Academic Hospital‚ one of the biggest hospitals in the province‚ for the past 15 years. His long track record in public healthcare sector will assist in stabilising the department‚ strengthen its leadership and ensure the achievement of better health outcomes in the province‚” the province said.
The task team set up by Makhura to visit the NGOs has visited 20 so far.
“This process will be concluded by Friday‚ February 10. The team is also working towards identifying institutions that are well-equipped to care for the mental health patients in compliance with the Mental Health Care Act (2002)‚” the province said.
This article was sourced from www.sowetolifemag.co.za