Community-based mental health organisations are cash-strapped, and face ongoing threats from government that their subsidies will be cut. But the Esidimeni tragedy shows that more money should be invested in these facilities to protect patients from being discharged into hostile communities before they are ready.
Patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) psychiatric ward cannot bath or shower because the water leaks into other wards.
The Gauteng Health Department ignored dire warnings not to “de-institutionalise” over 1000 psychiatric patients from secure care facilities run by Life Esidimeni. Now 37 patients have died in a few months – and families want answers.