There is an escalating crisis in obstetrics in South Africa, whereby many practitioners are leaving active practice due to the high indemnity insurance costs which can be expected to reach R850 000, BizCommunity reports.

According to Dr Brian Ruff, CEO of PPO Serve, the high insurance costs are a result of deviation of practitioners deviating from standard care protocols, undocumented treatment decisions and inadequate management of complicated medical conditions such as diabetes and HIV due to lack of human resources and poor care coordination.

Dr Ruff suggests structural changes are needed, “Very few want to do the job and those that do look for ways to introduce better scheduling, we need structural change if we hope to attract specialists back to active obstetrics and encourage more students to specialise in the field.” Ruff continues by saying that Obstetricians should head up multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals who share patient information, treatment plans and the fee for their collective services.

In turn, indemnity costs for these teams are lower because of holistic and proactive care, better record keeping and communication and a reduction in the high rate of avoidable Caesarean sections.

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