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Health Care & Social

State moves to tackle North West health saga

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 30 April 2018
Health Care & Social
Cabinet has invoked section 100(1b) of the Constitution to take over the Department of Health in violence-torn North West, says a BusinessLIVE report. It has also mandated a ministerial task team to undertake a fact-finding mission to the province and report back in two weeks, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said.

Doctor blames unions for being barred from work

A doctor head-hunted by the Health Department in the Eastern Cape to manage a turnaround at the Fort England Hospital in Grahamstown has been sitting at home for two years as unions allegedly are opposed to him working there, according to Rapport.

R1.2m each for families of 'tortured' mental patients

The rights of mentally ill patients and their families were flagrantly violated and disregarded during the Life Esidimeni debacle‚ retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke said in a scathing judgment yesterday. ‘All the facts here point to cruelty‚’ he said on the final day of arbitration hearings into the tragedy in which he said victims and their families had to be compensated.

Doctors take HPCSA exam writing ban to court

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 09 March 2018
Health Care & Social Litigation
South Africans studying medicine overseas have now turned to the courts in their battle to be allowed to write the medical board exam, which would allow them to practise locally. Durban-­based law firm Pravda and Knowles Attorneys has filed a notice of appeal in the Gauteng High Court to question the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) on this matter.

Listeriosis victims could form biggest class action

SA’s biggest class action lawsuit could take place if families of those who died and those hospitalised after contracting listeriosis decide to sue. ‘There is a possibility of a class action. Whoever is responsible could face class action‚’ consumer lawyer Janusz Luterek is quoted as saying in a BusinessLIVE report.

Noakes on back foot again as council appeals

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 22 February 2018
Health Care & Social
Low carb guru Tim Noakes is back at the Health Professions Council of SA for a tweet he posted four years ago advising a mother to wean her baby on to a LCHF diet (low carb‚ high fat). He won his hearing at the Health Professions Council after giving 12 days of evidence on why his diet for baby was not contradictory to evidence on what babies should eat and was found not guilty of misconduct or unethical conduct.

Mother sues after baby's arm amputated

The mother of a baby who lost his arm due to alleged medical negligence at the Stanger Hospital is suing the KZN MEC of Health for R7m. The matter is set down for June, notes a Sunday Tribune report.

Judge lashes department for reckless litigation

KZN’s Department of Health has received a judicial tongue-lashing, first for an ‘astounding’ lack of care given to a mother who gave birth to a brain-damaged baby, and then for wasting money by fighting her damages claim, says a News24 report. Acting Judge Sandhya Mahabeer, in a recent judgment, said it should have been obvious from the ‘joint minutes’ signed by medical experts representing the mother, Nokwanda Charlotte Mqadi, and the department that ‘the claim was indefensible’.

Toilets test case for Cape Town

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 09 November 2017
Civil Rights Health Care & Social
Do residents of Cape Town’s informal settlements receive inferior sanitation services to those provided to residents living in wealthier areas? Does this constitute unfair discrimination? On 5 and 6 December 2017, the Equality Court will hear an application from the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) against the City of Cape Town which raises these questions.

Top court hears battle for use of dagga

The state lined up against Rastafarians and other dagga users in the Constitutional Court yesterday when it heard an appeal against the Western Cape High Court ruling that the laws that banned the private use of dagga in a person's home were unconstitutional, ordering Parliament to revise laws governing the cultivation and private use of dagga within two years.

Case for staggered medical negligence awards fails

In a case which highlighted the growing burden of medical negligence payouts on state entities, the Gauteng Health Department didn’t help its cause when it failed to bring any evidence to the Constitutional Court on why the court should change the law to allow it to pay court-ordered awards monthly rather than a lump sum. Instead of paying R23m owed to a woman (DZ) for the medical care of her brain-damaged son‚ the department argued in the High Court, SCA and Constitutional Courts that negligence law needs to be changed to allow monthly payments.

Medical negligence claims run to thousands

More than 5 500 medical negligence claims have been made against the Health Department since 2014‚ Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday. According to a TimesLIVE report, the number grows each year. In response to a parliamentary question by DA MP Anchen Dreyer‚ Motsoaledi said that 1 562 claims had been made in the 2014/15 year‚ 1 732 in 2015/16 and 1 934 in 2016/17. So far in the current financial year‚ 360 claims had been lodged.

Ground-breaking ruling against parents who hit children

Parents who hit children will no longer be able to plead special defence in court if criminally charged, says a Pretoria News report. Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) Judge Raylene Keightley has ruled that the defence of reasonable chastisement was not in line with the Constitution and no longer applied in law. The judgment did not create a new offence, as hitting a child – whether your own or someone else’s – has always been assault under the country’s criminal law.

Why 118 Life Esidimeni patients died – ombud

The fear of challenging authority, coupled with the reluctance to take accountability, is what led to the deaths of 118 patients under the care of the Gauteng provincial government. This is according to Health Ombudsman Malegapuru William Makgoba, who was the first witness to present evidence to an arbitration committee set up to probe the deaths of the patients, notes a Business Day report.

Do You Need an “Advance Directive” or a “Living Will”?

By Ashersons Attorneys Published on Friday, 29 September 2017
Estate Planning & Trusts Health Care & Social
If you don’t want to be kept artificially alive – without your consent and perhaps in pain and distress – long after your medical condition becomes hopeless, you need to communicate your decision now to the doctors, hospitals and loved ones who will be caring for you at the end.

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