Fewer people know that they can be compensated for medical negligence and because of ignorance most end up footing the bill in situations where doctors should pay.
Johann Roux, personal injury attorney at De Broglio Attorneys told CNBC Africa that, in South Africa, there was no good complaints process.
“It is also clear that doctors are not accountable to their patients,” he said.
He however warned against assuming that every complication carried compensation.
“It is important to understand that in any medical procedure, you do get complications. It does not mean that every complication carries a claim against the doctor,” said Roux.
“It’s is only when doctors fail to abide by medical standards that one can make a claim of negligence.”
He said the volume of claims was an indicator of the underlying problem that could be systemic.
“It is very frightening as we get up to 200 calls from our practice alone per week; people will be making enquiries on complications clients would have faced,” he said.
“The biggest claims usually involve babies sustaining injuries at birth and claims are sometimes in the region 20 million rand.”
For more on this topic, watch the interview that CNBC Africa conducted with Johann Roux.