The enormous escalation of medical negligence claims against state hospitals will probably see payouts of up to R1.5 billion at the end this financial year. There has been a boom in claims against provincial health departments since 2012.

In 2010, successful negligence claims cost the state R100 million and R1.3 billion last year. According to data from National Treasury covering the first three quarters of the financial year ending this month, payouts have escalated further. Between March and November last year, the state settled claims worth R1.1 billion.

A simple extrapolation leads to an estimate of R1.5 billion for the full year – a fifteen-fold increase since 2010. ….more