Medico-legal claims: throwing money to the wind

The article ‘No right policy diagnosis’ by Casper Lötter (Herald, 19 July) refers:

The Democratic Alliance is deeply concerned about medico-legal claims and the Eastern Cape Department of Health’s ability to pay and to manage this crisis in a level-headed fashion.

Eighteen months ago,  I raised it in a health portfolio committee meeting in the legislature, that a health ombudsman was insufficient because the problem lies in the hospitals, not in the bureaucracy and paperwork.

Therefore I strongly urge the department to put a reliable, professional team together with experience in obstetrics and gynaecology that can get out into the province and look at the root causes of the medico-legal claims.

History throughout the world,  whether medical or another field,  show that throwing money at a crisis does not solve the crisis.

What is required is barefaced honesty and the necessary admission to see what is going on, on the ground and then to deal with it.

The needed research must be conducted impartially with sample respondents from the entire province, not just the urban environment.

That will give us a footing to solve the problem with knowledge and insight.  Otherwise, we are simply tossing bank notes into the wind, to no avail.

Our people deserve better.  — Celeste Barker MPL, Shadow MEC for Health