Broadside against medical negligence Bill
Parliament has heard that the government’s latest proposals for containing the growing financial burden of medical negligence claims against it were ill-conceived, unconstitutional and open to abuse. A Business Day report says public-interest groups, the legal community and Western Cape provincial officials were united in their criticism of the State Liability Amendment Bill, which provides for the scrapping of lump-sum settlements for medical-negligence claims of more than R1m and replacing them with periodic payments. Mandy Mudarikwa, of the Legal Resources Centre, said the Bill failed to deal with the underlying reasons for the poor care provided to patients in the public sector. ‘The solution for poor care is not to cap your financial liabilities,’ she told Parliament’s Justice Committee. The SA Medical Malpractice Lawyers Association’s Karisha Pillay said the Bill in its current form would give the courts power to bind the government to future payments up to 20 years ahead, without any insight into the competing demands on the fiscus at the time.