Esidimeni families formed committee months before transfer tragedy

The families of Life Esidimeni patients has already formed a group almost four months before the tragic transfer of 1 300 patients between April and June last year.

Families have met with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Premier David Makhura and now await remedial action following the Health Ombudsman report.

Andre Peterson, Chairperson of the family Committee of life Esidimeni Victims, says family members joined together to offer each other support and share concerns regarding the state of care for their loved one's.

Peterson's uncle was one of the patients transferred from Esidimeni to Masego Home Based Care, and he fortunately is still alive.

He says families were informed about the transfer at the last minute, following the termination of the Gauteng Health Department with Esidimeni.

According to Peterson, family members formed a community network in December 2015, more than four months prior to the transfer and eventual deaths of at least 94 patients.

He says the committee of family members had told the health department that the move was far too hasty and held two marches, warning of the potential 'carnage'.

They heard us, but the were not listening to us. It cost us the lives of 94 vulnerable people.

Andre Peterson, Chairperson of the family Committee of life Esidimeni Victims

Peterson advises that some family members are seeking compensation, and others criminal justice.

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