n South African Medical Journal - Establishing liability for harm caused to patients in a resource-deficient environment : forum
|Article Title||Establishing liability for harm caused to patients in a resource-deficient environment : forum|
|© Publisher:||Health and Medical Publishing Group (HMPG)|
|Journal||South African Medical Journal|
|Publication Date||Sep 2010|
|Pages||573 - 574|
|Keyword(s)||University of KwaZulu-Natal|
In a resource-deficient environment, liability for medical malpractice depends on whether there was intentional or negligent wrongful conduct by the parties concerned, or whether they were vicariously liable for the wrongful acts or omissions of others. Departments of health and private sector hospital bodies will be liable for the wrongful conduct of their administrators where, through maladministration, they have harmed patients by intentionally or negligently diverting funds from health care services. Such bodies cannot escape liability for harm caused to patients arising from a shortage of resources where these were caused by the intentional or negligent wrongful conduct of their administrative employees. Departments of health and private health bodies will also be vicariously liable for the intentional or negligent wrongful acts or omissions of their clinical health care and support staff. Clinicians and support staff working in a resource-starved environment, however, will be judged by the standard of how reasonably competent health care practitioners or support staff employees in the same field and faced with similar conditions would have acted.
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