The Eastern Cape Health and Education Departments are facing hundreds of lawsuits‚ with Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle admitting last week that the Health Department had paid more than R250m in claims in one year, says a Daily Dispatch report.
“In the last financial year‚ we took out of the health budget around R260m towards paying (medico-legal) claims and it was not budgeted for. It impacts on the quality of service if we have such a drain on the health sector‚” Masualle is quoted in the report as saying.
The departments are also worried they will lose millions more due to the provincial state attorney’s inability to handle the caseload.
In a bid to stem the outrush of millions‚ the two departments have withdrawn cases from the state attorney’s office and handed them over to private attorneys.
The departments are believed to have spent in the region of R43m on legal fees with private law firms‚ which is said to have led to a decline in the number of lawsuits registered against the departments this year.
The report says many of the cases involve health malpractice suits‚ as well as parents litigating over corporal punishment‚ fraudulent delivery of learner support material‚ sexual abuse and financial misconduct.
[link url="https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-09-17-eastern-cape-health-department-bleeds-an-unbudgeted-r260-million/"]The Times report[/link]