Medical negligence pay-outs soar by 132% - subs follow.

Chris Bateman


A combination of patient-claims litigators becoming smarter, fast evolving (and expensive) medical technology and growing patient awareness have sent the cost of reported negligence claims soaring by 132% in South Africa over the past two years.
This is according to the Medical Protection Society, (MPS) the largest indemnity backer of healthcare professionals in the country (26 000 members). It says this is part of a world wide trend, although local patient awareness may be growing faster locally than in more mature democracies.Local MPS members have also experienced a 30% rise in the actual average number of claims over the past four years.
The net result is that MPS subscriptions shot up from April 1st this year, with the riskier disciplines such as obstetrics, spinal surgery and paediatrics (more specifically paediatricians undertaking any neonatal care) taking the hardest hits. This last group faces the largest increase – 185% - because of the MPS’s experience of ‘catastrophic injury arising in this field,’ and have been bumped up into a higher risk subscription band, to now pay R26 230 annually.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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Indemnity, Medical Protection Society, subscriptions hike

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(4):216,218.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-03-08
Date published: 2011-04-04

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