Sunday, 21 July, 2024
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State pays R4bn in medico-legal claims in three years

With medico-legal claims devouring R4bn of Health Department funds in just three years, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has said several recommendations were being implemented, including a culture of patient safety and medical accountability having to be enforced by heads of institutions.

Other recommendations are that clinical governance must be uniformly implemented; morbidity and mortality (M&M) reviews and clinical audits of all adverse events must be implemented immediately, and there has to be a compulsory multidisciplinary approach in ward rounds, M&M and other peer review meetings.

News24 reports that in the 2020/21 financial year, R1.5bn had been spent on legal claims for 1 256 cases. The Eastern Cape paid more than R916m (135 cases); Gauteng’s 178 cases resulted in pay-outs totalling R339 038 978.70, while the 329 cases in KwaZulu-Natal led to the payment of R93m.

Limpopo had 157 cases and paid out R79 611 967.38, while 65 cases in the Western Cape saw R97m paid out.

During the 2021/22 financial year, 1 412 cases nationally saw the payment of R1.2bn to those who successfully claimed.

Gauteng recorded 109 cases, paying R376 025 367.33, and the 229 cases in KwaZulu-Natal cost R265 883 740.85. The Northern Cape had only 23 cases, but R355 266 465 was paid out in legal claims.

During the 2022/23 financial year, R1.4bn was paid out to cover legal claims. Gauteng paid out R512 203 017.80 for 132 legal cases; the Western Cape’s 72 legal cases saw R162 905 138.88 being paid out, while KZN’s 175 cases cost R162m. Mpumalanga paid R149m for 121 cases.

Phaahla said other recommendations being implemented were:

• All hospital managers must implement the patients' rights charter.
• Continuous patient safety campaigns must be conducted.
• The referral of patients must occur at an early and appropriate time.
• There must be strict adherence to standard operating procedures and scope of practice at all times to avoid preventable safety failures.

 

News24 article – R4bn in medical negligence claims paid out in just 3 years, says Phaahla (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Northern Cape sitting with R2.1bn medico-legal claims

 

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

 

Urgent need for diverse strategy to address rising medico-legal claims

 

What needs to be done to reduce rising medico-legal claims

 

'Fraudulent' medico-legal claims hobble Eastern Cape Health

 

 

 

 

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