CAPE TOWN - Government is about to establish a No-fault Compensation Fund, once established the fund is expected to deal with medical complaints linked to Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, it's going to cost the government around R250 million in the first year.
While there is much uncertainty about the working of the scheme and those who administer. Here’s what we know so far about the Fund:
What is a No-fault Compensation Fund?
“It is a standard condition, also given the nod by the World Health Organization (WHO) — effectively would indemnify vaccine manufacturers, but still allow anyone adversely affected by Covid-19 vaccines to claim recompense,” health minister Zweli Mkhize told MPs.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma describes the scheme as an essential part of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
- The scheme will be responsible for handling claims of injury from vaccines for the coronavirus, and the fund will pay out money due for such injuries.
- This is supposed to ring-fence the process financially, while making for smoother and faster administration than if claims had to go through the legal system, as is necessary for typical medical negligence claims.
What will the fund cover?
The fund will cover a person who has suffered a vaccine injury caused by the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine that is:
- Registered or otherwise approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority;
- Procured and distributed by the national government;
- Administered at a facility within the republic.
Vaccine injuries that will be covered under the scheme include severe injuries resulting in permanent or significant injury, serious harm to a person’s health, other damage or death.
How much can you claim?
- Government is yet to determine the specifics of the pay-out system.
- A Cabinet member responsible for Health, must issue directions in terms of specifying the amounts and structure of compensation.
- A claim may not be brought against the vaccine manufacturer and may only be brought against the National Government
Who is in charge?
- Retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo
- A panel will also decide on injuries that are seen to be causally related to the use of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Claims will be adjudicated by a panel, with an appeals panel above that. Each of the panel members “must have suitably qualified medical and any other relevant experts”, which will be appointed by the minister of health.