First On EWN: Motsoaledi wants medical negligence cases resolved without lawyers

The health minister says the dept wants to eliminate attorneys & compensate patients & families directly.

The entrance to a hospital ward. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he has demanded that health officials at all hospitals in the country immediately let his department know of any mistakes that could cause harm to patients, to avoid litigation and compensate families.

This week Eyewitness News revealed that two mothers are suing the department in separate cases after giving birth to babies with cerebral palsy.

They claim this was a result of alleged medical negligence at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Motsoaledi says there is a growing trend where attorneys approach patients and families asking to represent them in exchange for half or even most of their compensation of the settlement.

The minister says he wants to eliminate the attorneys from the equation and compensate patients and families directly.

"In such instances, the lawyers end up getting more money that the patients themselves."

The minister says while he's aware that this won't solve the problem, action will also be taken against health officials if investigations prove that they were negligent.

He says he is deeply saddened by the amount of cases filed against health workers, but also clarified that this also included professionals in the private sector.

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