Medical Law in South Africa
Know Your Patient Rights When Hospitalised in South Africa
Medical law in South Africa is complex, which is why it is recommended that you seek legal guidance if you believe that you have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice.
It is essential to understand your patient rights, such as the right to:
You have several other rights. The medical law in South Africa also protects your rights as a patient when you are admitted to hospital.
Mistakes are not uncommon in hospitals. Examples include, but are not limited to:
How to Minimise the Risk of Becoming a Victim of Malpractice or Negligence in South Africa
If you don’t understand the terminology used by the medical professional, ask them to explain it in a way you can understand. If you are unsure about a diagnosis, seek a second opinion. Ask questions to double check whether the dosages prescribed are correct and that the healthcare workers administer the correct dosages.
With studies showing that over two million people are negatively affected by infections they acquire while hospitalised annually, you have the right to ask that the healthcare workers follow correct hygiene and infection protocol. If a healthcare worker just treated another patient infected with a transmittable disease, you have the right to ask them to wash their hands before working with you.
Ask about every medication administered while you are in hospital. Ask what it is, why it is administered, what the correct dosage is, and how often you should receive it. By doing so, you also keep record of the procedures and you stay informed.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of medical negligence, seek immediate legal counsel from an attorney specialising in medical law in South Africa.
Information in this article is not intended as legal advice and is only for informational purposes. Please seek legal guidance from Adele van der Walt before relying on this information to make any legal decisions.