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Gauteng medico-legal claims decline

Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said her department was winning the battle against financial mismanagement and other challenges, and had recorded a 7% decline in medico-legal claims.

Last year, the MEC revealed her department faced R30bn in legal claims dating back to 2003 – but these had been reduced to around R24bn, she added, thanks to stringent measures undertaken by her administration to take control.

She told The Star that a syndicate of lawyers and doctors manipulated systems to benefit from litigation against her department, and that these were being dealt with.

Verifying the cases would continue under a legal intervention strategy developed to tackle the negligence claims, with collusion between lawyers and doctors said to be the biggest contributor to the problem, she said.

“We have found that certain hospitals have rent-a-child syndicates, while in others, doctors and lawyers collude to fleece the department of money that should be used to provide services. We are investigating these claims.”

The MEC said that since the department had managed to curb the litigation, it had been able to put the saved money to good use.

“We are improving our record filing system to avoid losing files – which often ends up costing us cases in courts because some people literally pay nurses to steal files at the hospitals.

“We have also taken a decision to strengthen the systems of recognition, which will also help health professionals in tracking people coming from outside the country and provide an idea of how many had been assisted, and where. The system will also safeguard against patients who move from one health facility to another just to get more medication.”

Previously, the department saw a significant rise in patient negligence cases, from 4 701 in 2020 to 6 910 in 2021 – a 47% increase over the year. It had also received 157 new summonses in the past year, which claimed R1.6bn for medical negligence.


The Star PressReader article – Fight against medical litigation claims by syndicates being won (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


R7bn medico-legal claims disparity in Gauteng Health report


Reducing medico-legal claims to be included in Gauteng hospital CEOs contracts


SCA ruling stymies Gauteng Health bid to cut negligence costs


Provinces ignore system to slash medical negligence claims






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