Claims for medical negligence against the state have more than tripled over the past four years, rising to a staggering R104.5bn in 2019, as patients seek redress for harm allegedly wrought by SA’s overstretched public health system.

While only a fraction of these claims are likely to be upheld, provincial health departments have nevertheless faced a four-fold increase in payouts to victims of medical negligence over the same period. This has sapped the resources available for providing services.

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