Medico-legal claims against the government amounted to billions over the past two financial years, most of it from claimants in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla detailed the number of medico-legal cases lodged against the nine provincial health departments and the potential costs, in response to a written parliamentary question from EFF MP Mathibe Rebecca Mohlala.
For the 2020/2021 financial year ending March 2021, reports News24, an estimated R8.5bn would have to be paid out if all 878 cases were to be settled.
• Eastern Cape has 361 cases, with a potential total cost of R4bn.
• KwaZulu-Natal has 256 claims, amounting to R2.6bn.
• Limpopo has 215 cases, amounting to R1.7bn.
• Mpumalanga has 117 cases, at just over R1.1bn.
• North West has just 61 cases, with a total potential value of R325 119 700.
• Gauteng has 80 cases, amounting to R958 735 433.
• Western Cape has 62 cases, with a cumulative value of R527 000 000.
Phaahla also detailed figures for the 2021/2022 financial year ending March 2020. Fewer cases were recorded, but the value of claims increased significantly.
Altogether, 866 cases were recorded, with a total value of more than R13.2bn.
• The Eastern Cape had 379 cases, with a potential cost of R4.5bn.
• Limpopo had 277 cases, with a potential total cost of R2.4bn.
• KZN had 204 cases, recording claims of R1.8bn.
• Mpumalanga had 142 cases, with a cumulative value of R1.4bn.
• Northern Cape recorded 20 cases, of R326m.
• Gauteng recorded 107 cases, with a potential cumulative value of just under R1bn.
• Western Cape had 77 cases, with a total value of R806m.
In the 2020/2021 financial year, which ended in March, provincial health departments paid R1.76bn for medical negligence claims.
The estimated settlement value of unpaid claims at year-end was R124.15bn, about 75% of the total claims against the state.
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