oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - Following on from the Life Esidimeni incident – access to care for people living with severe mental disability, according to national policy - short report

Volume 10 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1999-7639



Following the release in February 2017 of the health ombudsman’s report on the deaths of psychiatric patients in Gauteng Province, South Africa (SA) (the Life Esidimeni incident), the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) has called for a complete overhaul of the mentalhealthcare system in terms of the principles of existing mental-health policy, in particular the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013 - 2020 (NMHPF and SP). Overhauling the mental-healthcare system according to the NMHPF and SP will include the identification and costing of the required facility and staffing interventions that must be put into place to ensure capacity and integration on the different service levels, namely: residential and day-care community-based facilities and programmes, providing a range of care, treatment and rehabilitation services with a fulltime multidisciplinary team available; primary mental-healthcare services at district level; a specialist community-psychiatry service; acute psychiatric units in secondary, tertiary and central general hospitals; and specialised psychiatric beds.

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