Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has discredited the health department’s claims that it terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni facilities, saying there was no reason why the department had to cut down on core services.
Creecy is testifying at the arbitration hearings, which are looking into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of at least 144 psychiatric patients who were moved to unlicensed NGOs.
The department claimed it stopped working with the health group because of fiscal pressure but in fact it spent more on mental healthcare services .
Eyewitness News reporter Masego Rahlaga has shared details on this and other developments in the Life Esidimeni arbitration.
It made less economic sense and that is why Barbara Creecy is here to explain it— Masego Rahlaga, Eyewitness News reporter
For each patient per day, the department ended up spending way more. Instead of paying between R400 and R600 per patient per day at Life Esidimeni, Mahlangu confirmed that at some psychiatric hospitals they paid something like R 1400 and at the NGOs they would spend something like R900 which didn't make any sense because it tripled and in some instances, it actually went four times more.— Masego Rahlaga, Eyewitness News reporter
And that is why the finance MEC is here today, and what she said so far is that the accounting officer, the one who had duties to look after the department's budget is actually doctor Barney Selebano, the former HOD.— Masego Rahlaga, Eyewitness News reporter
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This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] Exorbitant cost of Life Esidimeni project under scrutiny