Paying The Price
On Special Assignment Tonight
The South African healthcare system is fraught with challenges, especially in the public sector where overcrowding in hospitals, lack of resources and a shortage of skilled staff are but a few of the problems. Although a less obvious threat, medical litigation has reached a tipping point. It entails doctors or hospitals being sued by a patient if something goes wrong with their treatment. Obstetricians and gynaecologists are amongst the hardest hit.
The problem is so serious that health experts say South Africa runs the very real risk of having no private practice obstetricians by the year 2020. A large number of gynaecologists have stopped specializing in obstetrics because of the risks involved in complications arising from births and the high insurance premiums they have to pay for medical insurance.
One of the most vocal critics of medical malpractice suits has been Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, who is pushing for legislation to protect doctors against this litigation.
We ask who, in the end, suffers the most; the patients or the doctors?
Watch Paying the Price, on Special Assignment, in our new time slot on Mondays at 21:00 on SABC3.
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