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Concern for doctors refusing to specialise

The department noticed a decrease in specialists due to an increase in lawsuits against medical professionals.

File: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The health department on Monday said it was concerned by the rate at which South Africa's doctors were choosing not to become specialists.

The department said it noticed a decrease due in specialists to an increase in lawsuits being brought against medical professionals.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was speaking at the medico-legal summit in Pretoria on Monday and said it was concerning that fewer young doctors were choosing to specialise in gynaecology, neonatology, orthopaedics and other fields.

Motsoaledi announced that there had been a sharp increase in the number of medical malpractice cases in these fields.

Several gynaecologists are reportedly refusing to treat pregnant women in some cases due to increased litigation.

The health minister accused lawyers of making money, by unduly leading patients into legal battles, which has now resulted in soaring costs of private medical care.