Gauteng health faces R3.7 BN legal claims

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

The Gauteng Health Department faces an astounding R3.7 billion in legal claims.

This figure was given to the Public Accounts Committee of the Gauteng Legislature last week, and is much higher than anything revealed before in this matter.

The total is up from R2.7 billion in legal claims as at 31 March this year, and R1.6 billion in the 2011/12 financial year.

Most of the claims are from 1002 medico-legal cases that claim a total amount of R3.415 billion.

There are also 326 civil claims amounting to R265 million, and 159 Emergency Services claims that total R9.7 million.

The huge amount claimed is of great concern as the Department has lost all medical negligence court cases in the last three years.

This tidal wave of claims highlights the urgency of raising the standard of health care so that medical mistakes are minimised.

Quality management must be tightened up, especially in maternity wards as many claims are because of babies harmed at birth.