Gauteng health department to use mediators for lawsuits

It seems the Gauteng health department’s found a cure for the backlog of medical negligence lawsuits against it, amounting to millions of rands. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng health department is dealing with medical negligence lawsuits amounting to some R330-million as well as a backlog with these cases.

The department has now opted to bring in mediators, who are expected to work fast and cut costs.

Salma is a non-profit organisation that's already working on these cases and for free -- so far.

It's comprised of a neurosurgeon and a retired judge who have been trained to mediate.

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For those affected by medical negligence, the Gauteng health department has a solution.

"In terms of future medical expenses we will pay them and kindly and all those who suffered adverse effects will be treated in our facilities as opposed to having monetary compensation," said Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

The department says it’s aware of organised groups using these unfortunate circumstances to try defraud it by lodging duplicate claims.

The department is being assisted by the office of the premier and national department in this regard.

The health department says that R30-million has been saved so far but the battle is far from over.