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South African bishops appalled by deaths attributed to health-care cost cuts

September 20, 2016

The Catholic bishops of South Africa has decried the deaths of 36 psychiatric patients who had been removed from a care facility because of budget shortages.

The bishops said that it was "morally unacceptable" that the patients were removed from the Life Esidimeni Centre, without provisions for further care. Acknowledging that the costs at the facility had been exorbitant, the bishops suggested constraints on health-care costs. But they also insisted that the government should provide necessary funding for treatment of those in need.

"A health system that puts profit before people, and without adequate measures for cost control, is both unsustainable for the country and a death sentence to the poor," the bishops said.


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