Legal claims against the Gauteng Health Department for medical negligence and other matters has soared to R21.96 billion, which is more than half of this year’s R40.2 billion health budget.
This bombshell information is revealed in the Department’s 2016/17 Annual Report which was tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Friday last week.
The enormity of this amount can be gauged by the fact that the annual budget of a city like Nelson Mandela Bay is less than R10 billion.
According to the report, the medical negligence claims have risen from R14.1 billion in April last year to R18.6 billion in April this year.
Other large claims include R1.7 billion for civil claims and R1.5 billion for the premature termination of contracts.
Meanwhile, it is shameful that the department is still ignoring the Sheriff of the court who took furniture from the head office ten days ago to force payment of R6.2 million for a brain-damaged child.
How long will the department disregard the law in this matter?
These latest figures show the urgent need to settle the escalating negligence claims in a reasonable way and take firm measures to prevent brain damage in childbirth which make up the bulk of the claims.
The DA calls on a thorough investigation into the alleged murder of a young boy at the hands of his own father.
A five-year-old boy was allegedly beaten to death by his father in Chrisville last week. This follows the father’s release from prison after a case that was opened against him for beating the boy, was withdrawn.
News reports reveal that the father slammed his young son into a wall and kicked him. It was also reported that the boy allegedly died of internal bleeding after the assault. DA Ward Councillor, Rashieda Landis, had been trying to assist the boy, previously having taken him to the police station herself after a beating.
Owing to the reported ongoing abuse, along with Councillor Landis, the boy’s paternal aunt opened a case against the father, for which the father was arrested six months ago. Three months later, the father was released after the boy’s aunt withdrew the case against him.
It is difficult to understand what would have led to the court’s decision for the charges to be dropped or why there was little or no further investigation. At the very least, there should have been an intervention by a social worker. It is the duty of the state to protect children as they cannot yet protect themselves.
I am deeply disappointed in the failings of our justice system, without which we may have prevented the loss of this little boy’s life.