EC frail care centre closures: MEC must take note of ombudsman report

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the findings of Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba following the alleged death of 94 mentally ill patients in Gauteng,  who were moved from Life Esidimeni to several incompetent NGOs.  The Eastern Cape MEC for Social Development, Nancy Sihlwayi must study this report for the sake of patients affected by the intended closure of the Life Esidimeni Algoa Frail Care Centre and the Lorraine Frail Care Centre in Port Elizabeth.

It has been clear from the DA’s interaction at these centres that there is no plan from the department of social development to deal with the situation going forward.   The MEC has an opportunity here to save lives instead of destroying people’s dignity and to avoid costly lawsuits.

The DA is totally appalled that our elderly and frail can be treated in such a heartless fashion and we will continue to use every avenue available to the provincial legislature to fight for their plight.

I again call on MEC Sihlwayi to lift the veil of secrecy and spell out why and when these centres are being closed and what the process is going forward.  People in need of these facilities simply cannot be dumped on families and other institutions that are not capacitated and resourced to deal with them.

We are facing a massive potential social crisis and must all cost avoid what happened in Gauteng.

A caring DA-government would never have dealt with this matter in such an inhumane and haphazard manner. — Kobus Botha MPL, Shadow MEC for Social Development