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Professional. Committed.
Experienced. Responsible.

Are you confronted with a medico-legal threat?


We are here to assist.

Our in-house team of experienced medical and legal professionals is standing by to assess your situation and provide you with appropriate assistance and support. Where required, leading, independent legal firms that have specialist medical law practices devoted to the defence of medical case are also consulted. Each has its own established track record of excellence in the field of medical litigation, having successfully defended healthcare professionals, hospitals, and other medical service providers in civil actions for damages.

Our notification process


To notify EthiQal of a circumstance or a claim is easy. You can send an email or speak to us directly.

EMAIL: Send your notification to claims@ethiqal.co.za. Depending on the circumstances and your reasons for notifying us, include the following incident details:

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  • Date of incident; initials of patient’s name; name of hospital, if applicable; name of other practitioners involved; relevant case details such as diagnosis, procedure performed, clinical outcome
  • If no complaint has been lodged against you, specify your reason for notifying us, for example, you may be faced with a clinical outcome that is unexpected and/or difficult to explain; you are concerned about a patient’s demeanour; you realise that you have made an error that may impact or has impacted the patient negatively
  • Documentation received (for example from the Health Professions Council, a request for records, a letter of demand or summons)
  • Clinical records and any other documentation relating to the treatment of the patient

PHONE: If you need urgent assistance you can contact us at 011 686 4314 / 021 007 4527. Members of our medico-legal team are available to provide their support.

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When should you contact the EthiQal medico-legal team?


We encourage you to contact us when you require medico-legal support and/or advice in your day-to-day practice, whether it relates to issues of patient confidentiality, patients refusing blood transfusions due to their religious beliefs or steps to be taken when dealing with unreasonable patients.  Preventing a claim is the best way to protect your practice.

It is important that you notify us as soon as a liability claim is brought against you or if you receive notification of a formal enquiry into your professional conduct, for example as a result of a complaint lodged at the Health Profession’s Council or a legal firm being tasked to investigate a potential liability claim on behalf of a patient cared for by you.  This ensures that correct legal processes are followed, that your defence is not compromised at an early stage and that you are assured of cover by your policy.

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You should also inform us as soon as practical after an incident that may give rise to a claim, for example where you know that a patient suffered harm as a result of errors made by yourself or your team, or where a patient is acting in a threatening manner, despite your efforts to engage.  Not only can we guide on what may help you in avoiding a claim, but such reporting ensures that the incident will be covered by your policy.

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Not sure of what needs to be notified?


Your policy states what must be reported for purposes of ensuring cover.  If you have questions, your Personal Advisor or Broker will assist.


Our Defence Philosophy


We believe that choosing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like mediation over litigation, protects the practitioner and the patient against the mental strain of unnecessary prolongation of a dispute; is more likely to achieve the best outcome for both parties; can avoid unnecessary legal fees and has the potential to restore the doctor-patient relationship.

At the same time we are committed to defending our practitioners aggressively in the courts, where this is required to clear their name. We will furthermore intervene through counter actions, where appropriate, where our doctors are victims of unethical behaviour and vexatious claims.


Useful documents


To learn more about legal processes and what is
required from you, select the relevant link below:

What is a Request for Records?
What is an HPCSA Complaint?
What is a Summons?
What is a Subpoena?

Are you familiar with the acts and regulations that govern the medical profession? Click to learn more:

Acts
The Children’s Act
Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act
Health Professions Act – 1974
The National Health Act

HPCSA
Guidelines on the Keeping of Patient Records (Booklet 14)

Bills
National Health Insurance bill (B 11-2019)