Bara hospital faces most negligence cases

Jack Bloom MPL

Caucus Leader

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital faces 86 medico-legal claims which total R420 million, the highest for all public hospitals in Gauteng.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature concerning legal claims against the Gauteng Health Department in 2012/2013.

Most of the claims (68) at Bara Hospital are for alleged brain damage at birth, for which an average amount of R5 million is claimed for each incident.

Other hospitals with high claims include the following:

Natalspruit Hospital 36 claims, of which 18 are for damage at birth
Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg 23 claims, of which 14 are for damage at birth
Leratong Hospital 18 claims, of which 9 are for damage at birth
Tembisa Hospital 12 claims, of which 5 are for damage at birth
Sebokeng Hospital 10 claims, of which 5 are for damage at birth
George Mukhari Hospital 9 claims, none for birth damage
Far East Rand Hospital 8 claims, of which 3 are for damage at birth
OR Tambo Hospital 8 claims, none for birth damage

There are 306 negligence claims in total, amounting to R1.286 billion, of which 155 are for damage at birth, mostly “negligence resulting in mental retardation and cerebral palsy”.

There are two R20 million claims for negligence leading to a baby’s blindness at the Rahima Moosa Hospital, and a R20 million claim for birth damage at the Far East Rand Hospital.

R15 million is claimed for damage to a patient’s penis during a circumcision operation at the South Rand Hospital, and R10.7 million for amputating a minor’s penis at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

R10 million is claimed for contracting HIV/Aids from a blood transfusion at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.

There is a human tragedy behind each of these negligence claims. Far too many people are injured at our hospitals instead of being cured.

Hospitals should be for healing, not places of danger because of negligence.

Chronic management problems need to be fixed decisively, otherwise negligence claims will continue to rise.