The Gauteng Health Department faces High Court charges after the department failed to abide by court order to pay over R2 million owed to a psychiatric home in Pretoria.
On Wednesday a psychiatric took the matter to the High Court in Pretoria after the department failed to pay the facility which it supports for the past four months.
It is understood that the facility caters for over 200 mentally ill patients.
The San Michelle Psychiatric Home’s representative Martin Welz says that after being in existence for the past 50 years, the organization is now under threat.
Welz says more concerns rose from various facilities after the department was taken to court over issues of payments.
He says the situation will have a negative impact on a number of mental patients saying they can’t be exposed to all risks especially on the streets due to lack of facilities.
“It’s desperate. Nobody wants to see the MEC up in jail. At the same time, nobody wants to see hundreds of mental patients once again out on the streets and exposed to all the risks that go with it.”
Psychiatric facilities have come into sharp focus since last year when more than 100 mentally ill patients died after the department moved them to NGOs which were later found to have been operating unlawfully.
MEC Gwen Ramokgopa says the psychiatric home has in fact been paid but says her department will be in contact with its management.
“So I’m going to ask our HOD Accounting Officer to link up with them and to check what their challenges are.”
Ramokopa says an investigation into the matter will be conducted and service will be restored soon.