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Health Care & Social

Health Care & Social

Most recent Health Care & Social Articles posted

KZN feeding scheme case struck from roll

It is not a question of whether the school children will be fed, but of who will feed the school children and derive the profit therefrom.’ The Mercury reports this is how the KZN Department of Education has – in court papers – described the case against its ‘corrupt’ awarding of a R1.4bn tender for the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in the province.

Mandela's medical information is 'sacrosanct'

Any patient-related information within the doctor-patient relationship is sacrosanct, and must be respected, even after death. A Cape Times report says the SA Medical Association (Sama) said this following the release – and subsequent withdrawal – of a book detailing the last days of former President Nelson Mandela. The book was written by former SANDF surgeon-general Dr Vejay Ramlakan, who was part of the medical team treating Mandela in the months before his death.

Mandela book withdrawn following legal threats

Penguin Random House SA acted swiftly yesterday to withdraw Dr Vejay Ramlakan’s book as legal action looms. The Star reports this came after the executors of Nelson Mandela’s estate – Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Advocate George Bizos and Judge Themba Sangoni – stepped in to consider laying a complaint with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) and the SANDF.

Widow threatens to sue over doctor's Mandela book

Former President Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, has threatened to sue Mandela’s doctor Vejay Ramlakan over his newly released book, Mandela’s Last Years, according to a City Press report. Ramlakan reportedly details Mandela’s last years, including intimate moments prior to his death. Machel has slammed the book, saying it is degrading and tarnishes the image of the struggle icon.

Father barred from smoking in front of children

In an unusual case, a father has been barred from smoking in front of his children. According to a Beeld report, the father brought an urgent application before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to force his estranged wife to place their children in his care until 23 July. The couple’s eldest child has a physical disability and the father told the court that he wanted to contribute to the specialised care the child needs, but the mother was refusing to allow the children to stay with him.

Doctors accuse medical aid schemes of spying

Doctors have accused SA’s biggest medical aid schemes of spying on them and sneaking hidden cameras into their consulting rooms. The healthcare practitioners also claim the schemes are guilty of withholding payment from doctors without proof of misconduct. A Sunday Times report says these claims are contained in documents filed in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) by the National Healthcare Professionals Association, in a claim against 19 medical aid schemes.

Deductions can be made from grants accounts

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 final word on landmark dagga ruling

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.

Group challenges law covering foetus burial

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.

Big pharmaceuticals don’t want dagga legalised

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.

Sheriff seizes vehicles to settle R17m health lawsuit

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.

SCA erred on medical savings, ConCourt told

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.

Courts failed dying psychiatric patients

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.

Court dates set for long-running dagga battle

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.

Mother of stillborn gets damages for emotional shock

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.

Insurer ordered to pay disability claim

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.

'Bizarre' defence against medical claim withdrawn

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’.

Soaring medical malpractice claims cause ward closure

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.

Doctor sued for patient’s skin damage

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.

Department forks out R23m medical negligence settlement

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.

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