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.