The sorry state of the public health sector is reflected in the sharp rise in medical negligence claims against provincial health departments, increasing by around 25% per year between 2011 and 2016.
Medical negligence claims rise by 25%.
This is according to Kirstie Haslam, partner at DSC Attorneys who says that the Gauteng Department of Health receives a particularly staggering number of negligence claims each year. Since January 2015, it has been forced to pay out more than R1.017bn to settle 185 medical negligence claims.
“Deteriorating conditions in state hospitals, as well as incompetence and gross negligence on the part of staff members, are at the root of these claims – the majority of which were ruled in favour of the plaintiffs,” Haslam explains.
She points out that several shocking cases of gross medical negligence have received media attention over the past few years.
Haslam says that medical negligence claims involving