The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) recently reported an increase in complaints from patients, and in the number of doctors found guilty of unprofessional conduct, for example refusing to treat patients, misdiagnosing patients, or failing to provide sufficient warning of the risks associated with a procedure or treatment.
Medical professionals must comply with a standard of care, namely to treat their patients the way that any other reasonable medical provider with the same qualifications would do. Should their conduct fall below the established standard of care, they are guilty of medical negligence.
Negligence does not always result in complications, injury or death but, when it does, it becomes a case of medical malpractice, provided there is proof of harm or loss.
The following four elements, which together comprise negligence, must be present in order to prove medical malpractice:
If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical malpractice and would like advice on how to proceed with a civil case, you can contact us on 011 325 2886.