R1m bill: No one left to deliver our babies?

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Cape Town - Would you continue to do your job if you had to pay R1m per year in insurance to cover you against legal claims? Most people wouldn't.

That’s the reason why the doctors who deliver babies are leaving the profession in droves. Or choosing not to enter it in the first place. Over 140 000 babies per year are delivered in South Africa, and if things continue as they are, the full burden of this will fall on the state hospitals within four years.

The increasing cost of insurance against medical malpractice suits has spiralled in the last few years, according to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who in 2015 commented on the problem. He stated that in the eight years between 2005 and 2013, the cost of indemnity insurance for private specialists in obstetrics (these are the doctors who actually deliver babies) had gone up by 382%.

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