President Jacob Zuma wants national Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to have more power over health MECs in provinces. “We welcome the recommendations of the health ombudsman that there is an urgent need to review the  National Health Act of 2003 and the Mental Health Care Act of 2002 with a view that certain powers and functions revert back to the national Minister of Health,” he said in his State of the Nation address in parliament on Thursday.

Zuma was referring to the report of the health ombudsman, which was released last week, on the deaths of 94 state mental healthcare users in Gauteng. They were part of a group of close to 2 000 mental health patients that the Gauteng health department transferred from private Life Esidimeni facilities, for which the state had paid, to unequipped nongovernmental organisations, where many died as a result of insufficient care.

Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, resigned as a result of the scandal…..more