Currently, Gauteng Health is facing a massive R22 billion in lawsuits brought about by patients who had been incorrectly treated or had had botched operations at public hospitals.
Masuku admitted to instances where his department has been found guilty of negligence but questioned the current method of calculating compensation for damages incurred at public hospitals using private sector rates, saying it led to inflated claims that would drain his department’s budget.
“Our attitude to the litigations is that while we have been found guilty in some instances, we can bring down the costs because they are calculated using private sector rates, for example on how to treat a cerebral palsy patient over 10 or 20 years,” said Masuku.
“We know as a matter of fact that private rates in most instances are overrated and unreasonable. The Competition Commission declared that these costs should come down because it's quite unfair to take a bit from the public purse to pay private hospitals and private doctors."