“To be clear‚ my decision to shed light on what was happening at Tower Hospital was not motivated by self-interest but rather by my deep concern for the patients at Tower Hospital and for mental health care patients in general‚” Sukeri added.
He said he was happy that several changes had been made to the province mental health care since his complaint.
“I therefore continue to believe that my decision to speak out against the deficiencies at both Tower Hospital and within the Eastern Cape Department of Health was correct. I am further encouraged by the ongoing support received from colleagues‚ co-workers‚ NGOs‚ professional bodies and the public in general‚” Sukeri said.
Among Sukeri’s claims were damning allegations that about 90 patients had died at the Port Elizabeth hospital but when his allegations were probed‚ he said he had “miscalculated the death statistics”‚ labelling this as a “serious mistake”.
The psychiatrist had also said patients were not fed proper meals and did not have proper clothing. Makgoba‚ however‚ said the only thing that patients had complained about was the portions of food they received.
Commenting on Sukeri’s allegations‚ which were published in a Sunday newspaper‚ Makgoba said: “The incidents at Tower Hospital is no ‘Life Esidimeni’.”
Over an eight-year period at the Tower Hospital‚ a total of 68 mental health patients had died. The hospital caters for 400 patients.