Constitutional Court confirms alternative compensation remedy for negligence
South African courts will now be able to consider ordering alternative compensation – instead of a lump-sum payment – to those injured as a result of medical negligence, reported Medical Brief (14 April 2021).
“The Constitutional Court judgment involved an application for leave to appeal against a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal. That SCA had upheld an appeal against a decision of the High Court, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg. The High Court made an order after an agreement was reached by the parties whereby the Gauteng Health Department accepted liability for 100% of the damages.”
The possibility of providing physical items or state medical services, instead of money, will be welcomed by the provincial Health Departments who face staggering medical negligence claims.
In this past financial year, Eastern Cape Health paid out R920-m on medical negligence claims. KwaZulu-Natal Healthʼs medical negligence claims increased by R3-bn in the 2018/2019 financial year to R23-bn in 2019/2020.