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SIU to probe suspicious medical negligence claims

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been given the nod by President Cyril Ramaphosa to probe corruption and maladministration at national and provincial Health Departments, with a specific focus on the billions in medical negligence claims from health facilities.

The terms of reference include serious maladministration, improper or unlawful conduct and unlawful or negligent loss of public money, reports News24.

The wide scope of the proclamation gives the SIU the power to investigate people and contracts that took place between 1 January 2013 and 22 July 2022, the date of the proclamation, or which took place before 1 January 2013, or after the date of publication of this proclamation.

National Health Department spokesperson Doctor Tshwale said the medical negligence claims by legal firms were so huge they were crippling its budget. Sometimes the department could not afford to pay all of the claims in the same year, and this had a knock-on effect for the next year’s budget.

In May, Health Minister Joe Phaahla warned that medico-legal claims might collapse health services. In his budget speech he said unscrupulous legal firms also needed “to be dealt with”.

The department wanted to reduce its liability by 80% by 2022, with the help of forensic investigations and case management, he added, and said some legal firms had already been referred to the SIU.


News24 – SIU to weed out dodgy medical negligence claims in health departments (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


State hospitals owe R21bn in medical negligence claims


Court blocks Eastern Cape’s attempt to stop medical negligence payments


R1.6bn new claims for medical negligence in Gauteng hospitals




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