Medical lawsuits posing a financial risk to healthcare in Gauteng: Ramokgopa

13 August 2017 - 16:00 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Gwen Ramokgopa. File photo.
Gwen Ramokgopa. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lisa Hnatowicz)

Gauteng’s health department is rated the second most affected in the country in terms of medico legal claims‚ the province's health MEC‚ Gwen Ramokgopa‚ said on Sunday.

She told a media briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday that since the end of March 2016‚ medical legal claims had amounted to over R37-billion nationally “with Gauteng being the second most affected province at over R13.8 billion claims”.

Over 70 percent of the Gauteng claims were due to maternal‚ neonatal health problems.

“The cost of medical litigation poses a financial risk to the ability of the healthcare system and thus the state’s ability to assure access to healthcare as required. The issue of high costs of medical litigation is not limited to the public sector nor is it unique to South Africa‚” the MEC said.

The department aims to reduce teenage pregnancies which contribute to 20% of maternal deaths‚ said Ramokgopa.

The department is currently facing a substantial number of claims brought on behalf of children with cerebral palsy‚ who also suffer from a myriad of other ailments and complications. Ramokgopa gave the assurance that if push comes to shove the department will readjust its spending and allocation in order to ensure continued health care services to the public.

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