Parliament has extended the deadline for written submissions on an amendment bill aimed at replacing lump sum payments for medical negligence claims with periodic claims. The extension of the State Liability Amendment Bill to Friday November 16 followed a complaint by the industry lobby group the Medical Malpractice Lawyers Association, who argued that the bill had not been allowed enough time for public participation. The bill has far-reaching implications, as it proposes replacing lump-sum settlements for patients who lodge successful claims for medical negligence against the state with periodic payments, and limiting care to public health-care facilities. The stated aim of the bill is to reduce the financial burden facing the state from medical negligence claims, but critics say this will push up costs in the long run. Earlier this week, the association wrote to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, Madipoane Mothapo, expressing its conc...

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