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When to Call a Medical Attorney in South Africa

The South African Medical Journal recently published the results of a study to determine the state of South African internships. The results of the study revealed that in many South African hospitals, interns are allowed to perform complicated surgical procedures without an adequate level of supervision. It is shocking for many readers, especially those who have to undergo surgery in an academic hospital. The interns don’t have the required experience to ensure optimal patient safety and because of no proper supervision, they may repeat incorrect procedures on future patients.

Instances such as the above where the patient’s right to proper medical treatment by a qualified and competent medical professional is infringed, one should immediately seek assistance from a medical attorney who can assess whether or not malpractice or negligence was present in treatment of a patient.

In another recent incident reported in the news, a political party called for the suspension of a medical practitioner at a state hospital for allegedly physically assaulting a mentally ill teenager at the hospital.  Such news reports are all too common in South Africa. With patients at state hospitals often being unable to afford top quality medical care, they are at the receiving end of sub-standard medical treatments and conditions in the state hospitals. However, malpractice and negligence are also reported regarding private medical centres in the country.

In many instances, improper medical care, lack of care and misdiagnosis lead to permanent injuries and even death. It is therefore reassuring to know that expert guidance and litigation assistance are available from a professional medical attorney.

Prerequisites for Successful Litigation or Negotiation Settlement

The first requirement for a medical negligence or malpractice claim is that there must be a doctor or medical care giver and patient relationship. This means that you cannot issue summons for compensation against a person or institution not involved in your medical treatment.

The second requirement is that the reasonable medical care standard must have been breached. It means that the medical professional must have acted in a way contrary or sub-standard to the general requirements of the medical profession.

A third requirement is that the lack of care, improper care, misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment must have led to injury, there should be a direct link between the damages and negligence. The injury can take the form of physical, emotional or both types of injury. You must have suffered damage because of the injury in order to claim damages. These damages can be the cost of medical or rehabilitation care, other medical visits, and loss of income because of inability to work as the result of the injury.

Another prerequisite is that the action or failure to act of the medical professional or institution must have caused the specific injury.  In order to prove that the above is true, the medical attorney will call on experts to determine whether or not the injury was caused by the action or lack thereof from the doctor or caregiver, that a patient-doctor relationship existed and that you have suffered damage.

Make use of our expertise to help you determine if you are a victim of medical negligence or malpractice. Call Adele van der Walt Incorporated – as experienced medical attorney to assess your claim and to assist in seeking financial compensation for the injury and damages sustained.