KZN health: R600?mlnin lawsuits

2011-09-26 00:00

“UNREASONABLE” medical negligence lawsuits are crippling the finances of the Health Department with KwaZulu-Natal facing about R600 million in claims, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told a conference of the Hospital Association of SA on Thursday.

He blamed lawyers who stroll public hospital corridors scouting for potential claimants.

Motsoaledi appealed to the private health sector to assist in the implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme and the improvement of human resources management to help reduce deaths from HIV, TB and other communicable diseases.

He said the claims would be reduced once his department has dealt with the “total overhaul of the entire system and radical change of administration …”

Sizwe Mchunu of the Democratic Alliance in the KZN Legislature said the “disturbing” amount in lawsuit claims explains why people run to private healthcare. He said the money could instead have improved the public health sector.

“On poaching of health practitioners by developed countries, the government shouldn’t be crying foul because, with no conducive working conditions and adequate incentives, these professionals are likely to be enticed by better working conditions in the developed countries.”

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