KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC fights negligence claims


KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has all but begged patients not to sue the department.

Patients who are victims of medical negligence are expected to receive pay outs totaling R241 million for legal claims.

Dhlomo wants the victims to accept special public medical attention rather than being used by “scrupulous” lawyers to sue the department.

He also confirmed the formation of the department’s own medical litigation unit, made up of medical practitioners and legal experts, to handle the medical claims.

“It will then review those records from both a legal and medical point of view and most importantly, present them to the executive, that is the MEC of Health, head of Health and others, and then advise to either concede; mediate or defend a matter,” said Dhlomo.

“The department would even convert houses of those who have become disabled because of medical injuries sustained during treatment, so that they can accommodate those in wheelchairs.

“Some lawyers go as far as encouraging patients to steal their medical files in order to lodge a case against the department.”

ANC MPL Sifiso Sonjica, meanwhile, has welcomed the introduction of the unit.

“We want to welcome the unit that you established in your department to look at this medico-legal claims because they are greedy hyenas who see an opportunity to milk the state. They must be stopped,” said Sonjica.