Gauteng Health MEC Dr. Bandile Masuku shall engage the judiciary for introducing a legislative framework which compels the victims of medical carelessness from the system of provincial healthcare to be treated at the public hospitals.
Gauteng Health is currently facing a huge R22 billion in the lawsuits that were brought about by the patients who were treated incorrectly or had had poor operations at the public hospitals.
Masuku admitted to the instances in which his department had been found guilty of carelessness but also questioned the current method for calculating the compensation of damages that were incurred at public hospitals using the rates of private sector, saying that it led to inflated claims which would drain the budget of his department.
He said that their attitude to the litigations was that while they had been found guilty in a few instances, they could bring down the costs as they were calculated using the rates of private sector.
He said that they knew that the private rates in most of the cases were overrated along with being unreasonable. The Competition Commission announced that these costs must come down as it was quite unfair to take money from the public purses for paying the private hospitals and their doctors.
He said that they were going to propose to their justice system for introducing a law, a legislative framework in their province for saying that the patients who had had adverse experiences with their system must be treated by them in central hospitals where the sub-specialties and the specialists resided.
Part of his plan for keeping the costs down was to discourage the patients from running towards courts for litigation and first considering mediation as a path of redressing the incidents of medical negligence in the public healthcare.