Free State hospitals swamped by malpractice cases

2015-05-20 15:41
Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein. (File, Charl Devenish)

Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein. (File, Charl Devenish)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bloemfontein - The Free State Department of Health is facing 184 malpractice cases to the value of R700m against it – and not a single employee has been dismissed for malpractice in the last 11 years, according to the local DA.

But the provincial health department says that number is inflated and many of the claims are without substance.

The majority of cases have been brought against the Pelonomi Regional Hospital and Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein.

Both hospitals have constantly faced staff, equipment and medicine shortages for more than two years now.

Some of the cases date from 2004 and have still not been resolved.

“The Pelinomi Hospital, for example, has been without hot water for the past two years. The boilers are broken and no attempt has been made to fix them. Just think of all the infections that could have been prevented,” said DA MPL Mariette Pittaway.

“And the Autoclave machine, used for sterilisation, has been broken for years.”

Staff not to blame

She stressed, however, that the staff at these hospitals are not to blame.

“They do the best they can with what they have available, but they fight a losing battle due to a severe shortage of medicine and working equipment. I can’t tell you how many doctors pay for consumables and medicine out of their own pockets.”

“This is a national health crisis, but I believe the Free State suffers the most.”

Head of the Health Department, Dr David Motau, acknowledged that there were “quite a few” cases against the department – more than 170 – but denied that anything near R700m was involved. According to him, the Department of Health has not paid out anything in malpractice cases in the past financial year.

“Lawyers are encouraging people to make claims against the department. Many of these claims are without substance,” he told News24.

The exact details of each of the cases are not known, but Pittaway plans to submit written questions to MEC Malakoane in this regard.

Read more on:    da  |  bloemfontein  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.