R104m spent on legal firms for medical negligence claims – DA Gauteng

DoH does have an in-house legal team but they choose to waste money externally

Gauteng Department of Health outsource on medico-legal while battling to deliver services

9 September 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that the Gauteng Department of Health has spent R103 954 143,00 on legal firms for medical negligent claims for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.

This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in a written reply to my question in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to MEC Masuku, the department has used legal firms for active medical negligent cases that are retained due to their span of litigation.

The Gauteng Department of Health struggles to carry out its core mandate yet it wastes money on external services while it has an inhouse legal team.

This clearly indicates that the department’s internal legal unit is not capacitated to deal with such cases.

The money could be better spent in providing much needed hospital equipment such as purchasing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines for cancer patients as half of these machines are broken and some public hospitals do not even have such equipment.

The department’s priorities are not service orientated and the National Health Insurance (NHI) will worsen the current situation at all of Gauteng’s public hospitals.

This means that when this department is made the sole provider of the healthcare services in the province our people will continue to suffer as the department is again failing to allocate its finances based on patient priority areas.

Issued by Makashule GanaDA Gauteng Spokesperson on Health, 9 September 2019