Malpractice claims pile up in the health sector

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Malpractice lawsuits against the countrys health professionals are skyrocketing. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is warning that the country could see a shortage of specialists if this trend persists.

PRETORIA - Health Minister Aaron Mostoaledi warns that South Africa could see a shortage of specialists due to the increasing number of lawsuits brought against health professionals.

Motsoaledi said the number of malpractice claims in both the private and public health sectors is piling up. The minister was speaking at a summit on medical litigation.

He warned against a complete collapse of the healthcare system, saying some medical specialists are more prone to litigation.

Motsoaledi said the cost of indemnity insurance for private specialists like neurosurgeons, has increased by over 500 percent in the last eight years.

“The nature of the crisis is that our country is experiencing a very sharp increase, actually an explosion in medical malpractice litigation, which is not in keeping with generally known trends of negligence or malpractice."

“The crisis we are faced with is not a crisis of public healthcare, it is a crisis faced by everybody in the healthcare profession, public or private,” he said.

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