Obstetric risk avoidance: Will anyone be offering obstetrics in private practice by the end of the decade?

Graham Robert Howarth


Obstetric claims inflation is increasing the cost of covering obstetric risk. This is leading to obstetric risk avoidance by those offering insurance and by practitioners who do not perform enough deliveries to cover the cost of obstetric risk indemnity. By the end of the decade indemnifying obstetric risk will probably be too expensive for doctors in private practice. Non-indemnified doctors will be unable or unwilling to do private deliveries; however, women will still fall pregnant and require delivery. These women will inevitably be forced to deliver in provincial facilities, shifting the workload and liability to the state. 

Author's affiliations

Graham Robert Howarth, Medico-legal advisor and Head of Medical Services for Africa, Medical Protection Society, United Kingdom

Full Text



obstetrics; risk; indemnity

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2013;103(8):513-514. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.7233

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-07-04
Date published: 2013-07-05

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