Dr Edeling (left) and Judge Claassen at the May Presidential Presentations meeting

The Private Office of President Cyril Ramaphosa last night officially acknowledged receipt of the SA Medico-Legal Association (SAMLA) compact drawing his attention to the medico-legal crisis in South Africa.

The compact, comprising hard-copy and electronic (video) presentations made earlier this year by SAMLA and 16 coalition partner representatives at a special meeting in Johannesburg – to which the President was invited but was unable to attend – was formally presented to the Presidency at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday by Judge Neels Claassen, SAMLA chairperson, and SAMLA Clinical Negligence and Mediation director, Dr Herman Edeling.

In his accompanying letter, Dr Edeling wrote:

“Dear Mr President,

“On Sunday 5 May 2019, in the spirit of Thuma Mina, and confirming their faith in your New Dawn, a group of concerned leaders in the South African Medico-Legal Field gathered to address you on the medico-legal crisis in South Africa. Experts, delegated by the South African Medico-Legal Association and 16 Coalition Partner Organizations were delighted to hear from a proxy that you were keen to be informed on these very serious problems prior to the election.

“As you were unable to attend on the day, the full proceedings were video-recorded for your convenience, and a comprehensive dossier with our primary submission plus supporting documents has been prepared.

“As we refer in our submission to the Departments of Justice, Health, Transport, Social Development and National Treasury, we are in the process of providing hard copies of this submission to the Honourable Ministers Mr Ronald Ozzy Lamola, Dr Zwelini Lawrence Mkhize, Mr Fikile April Mbalula, Ms Lindiwe Daphne Zulu and Mr Tito Titus Mboweni.

“Considering the seriousness of the medico-legal crisis, in terms of direct financial losses (>R300 billion) as well as the immense human suffering and losses of economic productivity, as summarised in our second letter to yourself, we urge you to read at least the letters and documents in our primary submission. For convenience these are attached hereto.

“We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to explain our goodwill and constructive proposals. We believe that these proposals contain practical and cost effective solutions to the medico-legal crisis in South Africa.”

Acknowledging receipt, Michael Louw, Director: Support Service in the Office, noted: “We acknowledge with thanks, receipt of your correspondence addressed to the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“The matter will receive the required attention and a response will be communicated soonest.”
* The full submission, with all supporting documents and video recordings, is publicly accessible at https://medicolegal.org.za/SubmissionToThePresident/Medico-legal-Crisis-Presentation-to-the-President.html

SOURCE: SA Medico-Legal Association