Gauteng Health R4 million

Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi. Image: Twitter/DrMokgethi

R1.6 billion in negligence claims facing Gauteng Health Department

The Gauteng Health Department has received 157 new summons which claim R1.6 billion for medical negligence in its hospitals.

Gauteng Health R4 million

Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi. Image: Twitter/DrMokgethi

The Gauteng Health Department has received 157 new summonses in the last year which claim R1.6 billion for medical negligence.

This was revealed by the Gauteng Legislature Health Committee. 


According to the Health Department, medical-legal litigation continues to increase and “extraordinary measures must be taken to prevent a possible collapse of the healthcare system.”

According to the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng, the Health Department also identified the legal attachment of funds as “a huge challenge to the financial sustainability of the department” as they “diminish the ability of the department to render health services to patients as it is obliged to do in terms of section 27 of the Constitution.”

The department has reportedly been refused extra funding to pay for adverse judgements which is why its own funds are attached by creditors.

The department acknowledges that “the root cause of all medico-legal litigation is negligence which occurs in the hospitals and clinics.”

Gauteng Health hospitals
Image: Twitter/@GautengHealth

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman at the Legislature, Jack Bloom said it is distressing that every year hundreds of patients suffer horribly because of avoidable medical negligence in Gauteng public hospitals.

“I am alarmed that negligence claims are increasing rather than decreasing, which highlights the continuing failure to fix the deep-rooted problems in this department.

“Our hospitals urgently need better management, the filling of staff vacancies, and proper equipment, especially in maternity units where most of the court cases arise because of babies injured at birth.”

Jack Bloom


In March this year, a woman from Mpumalanga enlisted the help of a senior EFF lawyer, after she claimed that her leg was amputated ‘without her knowledge’ at the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng.

The 21-year-old says she went in for some routine knee surgery, but when she awoke from her operation, her left leg was missing.

The highly traumatic ordeal left the young student shell-shocked, and understandably, she struggled to complete her studies and ultimately missed out on a place at university as a result.

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