The Gauteng Health Department is facing medical negligence claims worth over R2bn. JacarandaFM reports that this was revealed in the department’s 2016/17 Annual Report which was tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature last week.
The DA’s Jack Bloom says that the crippling problem is multifaceted. “The department need to provide proper resources so that doctors and nurses don’t make mistakes, because they don’t have functional equipment. There are sometimes not even enough beds,” Bloom explains.
This comes after an attachment order by the Sheriff of the court earlier in September. The DA says the Gauteng Health Department failed to pay damages of R6.2m for medical negligence.
“Primarily, it’s a management problem. Hospitals need to be properly run, but also doctors and nurses making mistakes should be held accountable,” Bloom insists.
The report says Gauteng Health Department spokesperson, Prince Hamnca, declined to be drawn in on the numbers. However, he says a patient safety and medical legal advisory panel has been established.
“The issue of medical negligence is of concern. It does indeed put a strain on the department’s resources. This panel will strengthen the healthcare system in Gauteng. It will also help in addressing the escalation of these claims to litigation. We are indeed concerned but want to add that the matter is receiving attention,” Hamnca says.JacarandaFM report