MENTALLY DISABLED SUFFER AS GAUTENG HEALTH FAILS TO PAY

Statement by Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

More than 90 mental health organisations that look after about 10 000 mentally disabled people are struggling because the Gauteng Health Department has not paid their grants this year.

They are owed more than R30 million, but all promises of payment have not been met. In most cases, payment was last made in December last year.

Homes like Vita Nova in Springs and Little Eden in Edenvale may face closure because of the non-payments.

Little Eden is owed R2.5 million for 300 mentally handicapped children and adults, and Vita Nova is owed R460 000 for the 115 residents that they look after.

It appears that the Department is giving preference to paying hospital suppliers, but this is at the expense of organisations who look after very vulnerable people who have no other care

Why must helpless people suffer because of the department’s poor financial management?

I have written to Gauteng Health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe to intervene urgently to ensure that the money is paid as soon as possible (see letter below).

Letter to Health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe

Ms Ntombi Mekgwe

MEC for Health

Dear MEC Mekgwe,

I am sure that you are aware that about 97 mental health NGOs have not been paid grants since December last year for people that they look after.

A number of homes for the mentally disabled face closure if these grants are not paid urgently.

Please let me know what steps are being taken to pay this money as soon as possible as it affects the most vulnerable in society.

Yours sincerely,

Jack Bloom

MPL

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