KZN’s largest mental health facility is an ‘Esidimeni in waiting’


KZN’s largest mental health facility is an ‘Esidimeni in waiting’

‘Patients are not being fed properly, staff have not been paid’ and donor funds are starting to dry up

Tania Broughton

A mental healthcare patient crisis is looming in KwaZulu-Natal, with the province’s oldest and largest non-profit organisation teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Durban and Coastal Mental Health, which is funded primarily by the provincial departments of health and social development, interfaces with more than 600,000 patients every year who either live in its hostels, or attend “daycare” facilities or workshops.

But its recent financials show it is R6m in the red, “technically insolvent”, is being sued for about R2.4m for an unpaid bill from a service provider, and those attending the AGM last month were told there is only money for salaries for the next six months...

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