The national health department has taken nearly a year to set up teams of experts to help provincial health departments manage soaring claims for medical negligence that are placing increasing strain on provincial budgets. Provincial health departments are grappling with the rapid rise in medical negligence claims, from R28.61bn in 2014-2015 to R80.4bn in 2017-2018, according to figures obtained by Business Day. While actual payouts are far smaller they more than doubled year on year to reach R2.75bn in 2017-2018. These amounts are not budgeted for, and provincial health departments have to cut services to fulfill their obligations to successful claimants. Provincial health departments desperately need help to deal with their caseload: they face a backlog of 14,000 medical negligence claims, according to a written response health minister Aaron Motsoaledi gave on Tuesday to questions posed by DA’s Willem Faber in the National Council of Provinces. In response to questions from Busin...

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