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Health Care & Social
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The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ruled yesterday that deductions can be made from the bank accounts of social grant beneficiaries held with Grindrod. Net1 UEPS Technologies, the holding company for CPS, which administers the payment of social grants, approached the court for a declaratory order regarding the government’s decision to limit direct deductions from beneficiaries’ accounts, notes a BusinessLIVE report.
Parliament has announced it has to wait until the Constitutional Court has confirmed the Western Cape High Court's landmark judgment on private dagga use before it can make any changes to the law, notes a News24 report. ‘If the two laws mentioned (the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act) have been found to be unconstitutional, then the Constitutional Court would have to confirm the judgment before Parliament can act,’ a spokesperson said.
Parents who lose a foetus younger than 26 weeks do not have the right to bury or cremate the remains – but that could change. A Pretoria News says the remains are regarded as medical waste and accordingly disposed of by a hospital. However, the question on what should to happen to the remains of a foetus due to pregnancy loss at 26 weeks or earlier is now due to form the subject of a legal battle.
While marijuana support groups have welcomed the green light given by the government for the manufacture of cannabis for medicinal use, they have criticised the proposed guidelines attached to its usage. A Cape Argus report says the suggested framework would allow cannabis for medicinal purposes, but under strict regulations.
The sheriff has seized several cars belonging to the Eastern Cape Health Department, which owes a woman almost R17m in damages for medical negligence, says a Daily Dispatch report. The department yesterday vowed it would – by the end of this week – settle the outstanding amount to the mother whose child suffers from severe cerebral palsy due to medical negligence on the part of department officials.
The SCA incorrectly interpreted the Medical Schemes Act when it concluded that funds in a personal medical savings account could not be treated as both an asset and trust property of a member, Genesis Medical Scheme’s Advocate Schalk Burger told the Constitutional Court yesterday.
The courts have not emerged unscathed from the saga of the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients at the hands of uncaring, incompetent Gauteng health officials, notes Legalbrief. Recapping several explicit warnings – and evidence – about the pending disaster that were ignored, Rapport also touches on the role played by the judiciary in the process. It points out that lobby group Section27 went to court more than once to interdict the transfers of the patients to NGOs and to intervene in the situation.
The bid by SA’s so-called dagga couple – Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs – to have dagga legalised, will finally kick off at the end of July after a battle of more than six years. The couple have been trying for six years to get all documents and expert evidence in order.
Ten years after a mother delivered a stillborn baby as a result of negligence by a hospital in Johannesburg‚ the SCA ordered the Gauteng Health MEC to pay her R100 000 in damages for emotional shock, says a TimesLIVE report. Delisile Mbhele claimed that negligence on the part of the medical staff resulted in her baby being stillborn.
Liberty Life has failed in its bid to reject a payment to a disabled claimant, and has been ordered to cough up. A Cape Times report says long-term Insurance Ombudsman Judge Ron McLaren ordered Liberty Life to pay an unemployed diabetic a disability benefit of about R200 000, which includes interest. The claimant at the centre of the dispute was diagnosed with diabetes with ‘severe peripheral neuropathy’ in July 2012.
Gauteng’s MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu, facing a High Court claim over a botched operation carried out at a state hospital, launched a subsequently withdrawn defence described as ‘bizarre’ by leading legal commentator Carmel Rickard, notes Legalbrief. The State Attorney, in a written plea filed on behalf of the MEC, denied that (the MEC) owes a duty of care to the patient. The attorney noted there was no law in SA that ‘guarantees proper, sufficient and reasonable health services to citizens’.
Hospital giant Life Healthcare has become the first group to announce the closure of one of its maternity wards due to a decreasing number of obstetricians willing to practise in a litigious environment, according to Rapport. The Life Midmed Hospital in Middelburg (Mpumalanga) will shut down its neonatal ICU and obstetrics ward, which handles about 100 deliveries a month. In Worcester, all four obstetricians in private practice last week publicly announced their refusal to deliver more babies due to sky-rocketing insurance premiums.
Dr Lulamile Jam Jam is being sued for R5.7m for allegedly misdiagnosing a disorder and prescribing medication which caused skin damage, says a Daily Dispatch report. The doctor does not deny giving Ziyanda Qubu the medication, but said she had used the medication before so he did not need to inform her of its side effects.
A last-minute scramble by the Eastern Cape Health Department to settle a medical negligence lawsuit worth R23m has saved 20 of their vehicles meant to be auctioned next week, says a Daily Dispatch report. A provincial health spokesperson confirmed they had last week paid R23m to Johannesburg-based lawyer Zuko Nonxuba after he successfully sued them for medical negligence.
A Durban nurse says she is still battling to be compensated properly after she contracted HIV 13 years ago from a needle stick injury to her left thumb while attending to a patient at the private hospital where she worked, says a report in The Mercury. The nurse claims the hospital’s insurer, the Compensation Fund, deemed that she was only 15% disabled, and paid her accordingly, and is now rejecting her appeals to reconsider because of her declining health and inability to work.
The silicosis case was back in court yesterday (Thursday), with lawyers representing mine workers arguing that allowing gold-mining companies to appeal against the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) landmark class action judgment would delay the resolution of the case, while litigants were dying without compensation, says a Business Day report. It notes May’s class-action certification judgment paved the way for billions in claims by former goldmine workers suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis. The size and scope of the class action is unprecedented. If the lawsuit were to go ahead on the basis certified by the High Court, it will be against almost all the major mining companies involved in goldmining in SA since 1965, including parent companies. It would cover their conduct for more than 50 years and th ere could be between 17 000 and 50 000 claimants.