n South African Medical Journal - Medical malpractice crisis deepens : new approach : correspondence




The medical indemnity insurance crisis has entered a new phase with one hospital group informing its doctors that they will be barred from use of its facilities after February 2016 if they do not have an indemnity policy with at least ZAR30 million cover. This attitude is likely to be adopted by the other hospital groups, who are all under pressure to ensure that they are adequately insured for any negligent act that may involve them or their staff jointly with the doctor against whom a claim is being raised. According to one source, the minimum excess that a hospital has to pay per insurable event is ZAR10 million. This requirement will, by some margin, trump the hospital income earned through admissions by an individual practitioner. This means that no individual practitioner can expect leniency from the hospital based solely on their income generating capacity. Add to this new requirement the premium of ZAR650 000 the Medical Protection Society (MPS) has commenced charging its obstetric customers for its occurrence-based cover this year (an increase of ZAR200 000 since 2015), and it becomes easy to appreciate the enormity of the crisis.


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