#LifeEsidimeni: Motsoaledi and Makhura could be forced to pay up from their pockets

Those who oversaw the removal of mental health patients could face the full wrath of the law as could those standing by as KZN’s cancer care fails.

Gauteng health department officials could be criminally charged with culpable homicide for their roles in the Life Esidimeni scandal, says David McQuoid-Mason, a law professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.

He believes former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, her former head of department, Barney Selebano, and the mental health services director, Makgoba Manamela, could be convicted of culpable homicide if prosecutors can prove their negligence caused the deaths of at least 144 patients and that these deaths were illegal. McQuoid-Mason was speaking at a lecture hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics last week.
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Geld groot kopseer vir gesondheid in Gauteng

Die onlangse uitbreking van die dodelike listeriose in Gauteng is nie die grootste probleem wat die provinsiale gesondheidsdepartement in die gesig staar nie. Die min geld tot die einde van die finansiële jaar is vir die DA ’n bron van kommer.

Jack Bloom, die DA se woordvoerder in Gauteng, sê hoewel listeriose moeilik is om te bekamp, het die voorkoming van die siekte in werklikheid ’n minimale impak op die departement se funksionering.

Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa, Gauteng se LUR vir gesondheid, het Dinsdag by ’n voorlegging aan die provinsiale portefeuljekomitee oor gesondheid erken haar departement sukkel om die siekte te bekamp.

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The real reason why Gauteng doesn’t want to pay up for #LifeEsidimeni

‘Families should be compensated for trauma, but not for what the deceased went through’, says state advocate.

The Gauteng provincial government’s resistance to paying Constitutional damages to the families who lost their loved ones in the Life Esidimeni tragedy, may be tied to the fear of accepting greater responsibility.

This follows a 2015 Gauteng health department decision to place almost 1700 former Life Esidimeni mental health patients in the care of deadly NGOs. While 144 have since died, a further 12 remain missing.
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Life Esidimeni families want R1.5m each for constitutional damage

On top of the R200‚000 compensation for emotional shock‚ psychological injury and funeral expenses from the State‚ Life Esidimeni families want each claimant to receive R1.5-million for constitutional damage redress.

On Thursday‚ the Life Esidimeni arbitration convened for closing arguments in Parktown‚ Johannesburg. Though the two parties agreed on the emotional trauma claim under common law‚ in respect of the claim for constitutional damages‚ the State and Section 27 did not reach an agreement.

Section 27 Advocate Adila Hassim argued why the State should compensate the families for the violation of constitutional rights.
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Private Healthcare in SA – continued decline and a possible solution

We entered 2017 reeling from a series of double-digit medical insurance premium hikes. It was becoming clear that schemes are in trouble; undercut by unregulated, selective insurance products and forced into tighter and tighter modes of managing care delivered.

We were facing an affordability crisis then – that, without serious systematic change, schemes will be unable to derail their progression towards shrinking memberships and eventual collapse.

Moving into 2018, scheme’s reserves are under threat, memberships are stagnant and the system continues, for the most part, to tolerate overutilisation of hospital services while failing to invest in strengthening community-level care. Alternative fee models remain tentative and marginal, neither inspiring nor supporting any structural changes in the fragmented way healthcare services are delivered. In light of this, I predict the following for the coming year:
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No money for #LifeEsidimeni, but millions for consultants

The Gauteng health department spent tens of millions of rands on consultants —including the controversial McKinsey & Company firm — even as it said it could no longer afford to pay for patient care at Life Esidimeni facilities, Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy has revealed.

For almost three years, a trio of now-former Gauteng health officials have told the same story.

Former MEC Qedani Mahlangu, department head Barney Selebano and mental health director Makgabo Manamela have all said that the tight budgets and growing auditor-general concerns about the Life Esidimeni contract forced them to cancel the department’s decades-old agreement with the private healthcare provider. The division of private hospital group Life Healthcare cared for almost 1700 state patients, many of whom were placed with deadly NGOs after the contract ended.
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Listeria: Follow SA’s medical sleuths as they chase a killer in a race against time

A mechanical hum fills the small room where James Bond is working to track down a killer. His name is printed in black letters on the side of his body.

But this James Bond isn’t the world’s most famous secret agent. It’s one of three gene-sequencing machines at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg.

Working along its Matrix-inspired counterparts, Neo and Niobe, Bond is the size of an average desktop printer. But the state-of-the-art devices can determine the genetic make-up of animal and plant cells in about three days.
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Another project costing a whooping R127-million on a condom no one wanted?

Every year, South Africa distributes tens of millions of female condoms, making the country home to one of the largest female condom programmes in the world, research published in the 2017 South African Health Review (SAHR) shows.

The tenders for these condoms are big business. The government paid billions to suppliers of male and female condoms, as well as lubricants, for three years as part of the most recent tender.

The health department should be commended for ramping up the number of female condoms it has bought and distributed over the past decade, surpassing its own target of 25-million annually in 2015/2016, the research reveals.
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Union stops its nurses from escorting patients

The provincial branch of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) is stopping its members from escorting patients from one health care facility to another. The union said its members had been exploited and overworked for too long, with the Health Department “dragging its feet” on employing paramedics qualified to handle referrals and transfers. Mandla […]
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Discovery Health recovers R568m through fraud-control activities in 2017

According to Discovery Health CEO, Dr Jonathan Broomberg, efforts to curb fraud in the healthcare system resulted in R568m recovered on behalf of client schemes in 2017, compared to R405m in 2016. Further, fraud-control activities in which health professionals and others contemplating fraud desist from committing fraud in reaction to visible policing and action by […]
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