The Eastern Cape Department of Health has spent R630 million on medical malpractice claims during the 2018/19 financial year.
The amount was revealed by Finance MEC Oscar Mabuyane during the provincial budget speech on Tuesday.
The EC department of health gets the second largest budget allocation of R25 billion, next to the Department or Education which was allocated R36 million.
Countless medical malpractice claims have been a major crisis facing the department and are currently valued at around R21 billion in unsettled claims.
About 80% of these claims have been lodged in the OR Tambo region.
Mabuyane blamed unscrupulous lawyers and said the state was closing down on them. “We will strengthen the legal team and law enforcement agencies to deal with fraudulent claims”.
He said the health sector must push for finalisation of the State Liability Bill as it proposes structured payments over time when the government is found liable.
– African News Agency (ANA)