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Reopening the debate on medical malpractice claims in South Africa: examining the intersection between quality health professional training and bioethics.

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Medical malpractice claims are a growing trend in South Africa that is crippling the Department of Health thus impacting on the provision of healthcare to the population. This dissertation revisits the hotly debated topic of whether there is a link between malpractice claims and the medical professional training, and conditions in South Africa? This dissertation presents an overview of the origin of health as a human right and the steps taken by the South African government to bring about the realisation of that right. An analysis of the conditions that lead to patient injury will be undertaken together with the procedures or lack thereof in place to ensure patient safety. Case law and South African legislation regarding healthcare services are consulted for comparative purposes with other countries who are also dealing with an increase in medical malpractice claims. The relevance of a shortage of resources and the implications thereof are discussed in this work. South African medical professionals’ adherence to the set standards of good medical practice is analysed before conclusions are reached and recommendations to curtail the rise of malpractice claims are provided.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.