36 patients die from unknown causes after transfer from a private mental health facility in South Africa

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 20 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5126
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. Johannesburg

The health ombudsman in South Africa is investigating the deaths of 36 patients in the Johannesburg area who died after the provincial government cancelled a contract with a private mental health facility.

The patients were among almost 2000 being cared for at a private health facility, run by Life Esidimeni, which had held a contract with the Gauteng provincial government to provide psychiatric care for almost 30 years.

Last year the Gauteng government cancelled the contract and gave assurances …

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