Over R300 million from the Gauteng Health Department’s bank accounts have been attached to pay out court-ordered medical negligence cases, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

DA’s Health spokesperson Jack Bloom says the payments, taken from April 2019 to date, were court-ordered settlements for medical negligence in Gauteng public hospitals mostly relating to brain damage to newborn babies.

The Department is yet to respond to the allegations.

Bloom says he welcomes the department’s shift towards mediation in an attempt to settle these cases as this will speed up cases and reduce expensive lawyers’ fees.

“I think it is very shameful that lawyers who are acting on court-ordered payments for negligence had to resort to attaching the Gauteng Health Department’s accounts.  The department should just pay as normal within 30 days. But because they don’t, lawyers had to attach their accounts. And I think it’s got to stop.”