The National Health Department (NDoH) says it will start
deploying teams of experts to provincial Health Departments from next month to
help address and manage skyrocketing medical claims in the public sector.

Data obtained by Business
showed that the total medico-legal contingent liabilities in the country
tripled from the 2014/2015 financial year to R80.4 billion. Answering questions
in the National Council of Provinces yesterday, Health Minister Dr Aaron
Motsoaledi said the provinces face a backlog of 14 000 medical negligence

Treasury told Business
that government has allocated R30 million to the NDoH’s budget over the
three-year medium-term expenditure framework to set up expert teams that will
help provinces manage, negotiate and prepare for the defence of cases in court.

However, there has been a delay in setting up these teams after
the tender specifications for the teams were changed, and the tender had to be
advertised again.

“It is important to understand the type of teams we are
looking for. These will be multisectoral teams that will include clinicians,
lawyers, researchers, investigators, analysts and mediators, as well as IT
system specialists. The preselected companies were
evaluated last week and those that have been found to be suitable will start
work in February 2019,” Health Department spokesperson, Popo Maja told Business Day.