oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - Medico-legal litigation : balancing spiralling costs with fair compensation : editorial

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1999-7639



A Medico Legal Summit was convened by the National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, on 9 and 10 March this year. In his keynote address (published in full on page 4), Dr Motsoaledi stated that the summit was long overdue. He expressed concerns, and rightfully so, that medico-legal litigation had reached a crisis of epic proportions in the country. It became clear as the summit unfolded over the two days that the triggers to litigation in the healthcare context are primarily two-fold: medical malpractice and/or professional negligence and patient safety reasons. While the private sector grapples largely with the former, the state sector healthcare facilities deal with a combination of both causes. This editorial discusses some of the causes and impact of increasing medical litigation, and considers possible interventions in this regard.

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