Friday, 31 May, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalLegislation will curb 'unsustainable' medical negligence claims

Legislation will curb 'unsustainable' medical negligence claims

The government will clamp down on 'unsustainable' medical negligence claims against the state health services with legislative changes, Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla has told the National Council of Provinces.

Phaahla said that amendments in the State Liability Bill would ensure among other things that payments were staggered instead of lump sums.The government would also look at other avenues like mediation.

In the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reported that the potential government's liability from medico-legal claims increased from R97.4bn in 2028/19 to R111.5bn in 2019/20, with highest level of claims (38%) being in the Eastern Cape.

"Although actual payments declined slightly from R2bn in 2018/19 to R1.7bn to R1.7bn in 2019/20, this remains a considerable source of pressure on provincial healthcare budgets. The State Liability Bill, currently before Parliament, seeks to alleviate the problem by allowing courts to order the public sector to provide rehabilitation services to claimants in kind instead of paying private sector rates, and allowing for future costs and compensation to be paid periodically instead of as lump sums upfront."


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