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We are closing the tap on medical claims: Joe Phaahla

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says they are cracking down on medical claims. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says they are cracking down on medical claims. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 10, 2022

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Cape Town - Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has promised they were closing the tap on billions of rands in medical claims faced by his department.

For years the department has been facing huge lawsuits in court over medical negligence in hospitals across the country.

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He said they needed to put a stop to this before it collapses the health system.

The medical claims were sitting at over R100 billion.

Phaahla told Parliament on Tuesday they wanted to close the loopholes in the system.

“The issue of medical litigation is a major issue. Indeed, some of our provinces are really struggling as a result of major problems of leakage from litigation. As I have mentioned we are making sure that we close the tap on all this,” said Phaahla.

In his speech earlier to the chamber he said this was a serious problem.

He said they were a fiscal drain to the system.

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“Medico-legal claims are a drain on vital and scarce resources to save lives. We need to put a stop on this before they collapse the health services. The key intervention includes improved clinical management and recording keeping. We also need to deal with unscrupulous legal firms.

“We aim to reduce the liability by 80% by 2024. We have introduced a transversal system shared by provinces which provides case management systems, forensic investigation and overall improved management,” he said, adding that some of the firms have been referred to the Special Investigating Unit.

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