Medical lawsuits plague Gauteng - DA
Johannesburg - Higher payouts for medical negligence cases will severely affect the Gauteng health department's budget, the DA said on Monday.
"Courts are granting higher payouts for medical negligence, so every effort must be made to ensure that quality care is provided, instead of needlessly injuring patients," Democratic Alliance MP Jack Bloom said.
"The news that Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has been ordered by the court to pay R12m in yet another medical negligence case shows that medical lawsuits will hit the Gauteng health budget hard."
Last month Justice Kathy Satchwell from the South Gauteng High Court ordered Mokonyane to pay after Prudence Khumbula's daughter Tanya was born brain-damaged and paralysed, due to negligence by an Edenvale hospital.
Bloom said the department had already paid R15.5m in two medical negligence cases this year. R9.25m was paid to the family of Prince Sibusiso Khanyi after he was brain-damaged at birth at the Pholosong hospital. Another R6.25m was paid to Shabbier Nagel after his leg was amputated when he was scheduled for heart surgery at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.
Gauteng health spokesperson Simon Zwane said the department was "making efforts" to prevent further lawsuits.
"The department is also making efforts to generally improve the quality of healthcare in the province," he said.
"That is why we are focused on ensuring the availability of doctors, and improvement in nurses and equipment, so that there will be no injuries during procedures."