The threat of litigation: Private obstetric care – quo vadis?

Graham Howarth


Because of changes in litigation frequency and estimated claims value, indemnity costs for South African obstetricians have increased sharply and may soon become virtually unaffordable. There is the real possibility of very serious public health consequences and it is important that the matter is addressed as a matter of urgency. Resolution is by no means limited to obstetric care, but it is important that obstetricians become actively involved in the debate. While the alternatives suggested may be considered unpalatable they are raised to open and stimulate debate – they are by no means prescriptive. Clearly the debate has to extend beyond the obstetric or indeed the medical community and urgent and serious consideration will have to be given to tort reform.

Author's affiliations

Graham Howarth, Medical Protection Society

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Affordable; indemnity; changes to practice; tort reform

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2011;4(2):85.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-09-23
Date published: 2011-12-15

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