Malpractice indemnity puts pressure on gynaecologists

Pretoria, 07 october 2016 - Medical malpractice insurance costs gynaecologists up to R60,000 a month. This amount is set to rise next year.​ Video: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG – Medical malpractice indemnity fees cost each practicing gynaecologist up to R65,000 a month.

With this amount set to rise next year, obstetricians say they have to deliver over 20 babies a month  to cover the cost.

The indemnity fee allows them to work at hospitals and not be held personally liable for any patient claims.

Most obstetricians pay R650,000 a year and the expense is now affecting the livelihoods of many.

The only four obstetricians in Worcester told eNCA they will stop delivering babies because they just can’t afford the premiums.

The South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Sasog) says as a result, more and more gynaecologists are choosing not to deliver babies.

One gynaecologist said it’s just not financially viable anymore.

"The medical aids - even the basic plans - pay about R3000 per delivery, whether it is ceaser or normal delivery. And this kinda includes the whole thing, from the day the pain starts being there, for the whole delivery - whether its three hours, 10 hours or ends in a caesarean - the same amount actually goes through,” said Dr Idalette Boshoff.

Sasog has asked the health department to intervene and cap the legal claim amount while implementing a mediation commission.

eNCA

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