Due to an increase of litigation against doctors, this practice requests patients to sign an agreement with the doctors.
This agreement is based on advice from SASOG, the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
This contract is basically for patients to agree to a process of mediation, rather than to proceed directly to legal actions.
This process is meant to keep communication open between patients and doctors in the event of complications, suboptimal care or dissatisfaction with results. It does not reduce the patient’s right to litigation.
Agreements are made with Obstetrical patients at the beginning of their antenatal care, and surgical patients before surgery.
Patient surgical information letter
Dear Patient, you and your Gynaecologist have agreed to a specific surgical procedure. You are hereby requested to confirm that you understand the indication(s) for this procedure and that you have been informed about the operation itself. Furthermore you understand that all surgical procedures carry risk of complications. Complications like injury to the bladder, bowl, ureter and blood vessels, infections and clotting problems do occur. In this practice, though, surgical complications occur at a rate less than 1% and your Gynaecologist has no intention to do you harm. We invite you to discuss the procedure with our trained nursing staff and the doctors at any time you feel you need more information.
It is important to realize that certain conditions increase the likelihood of complications and these include: previous surgery, adhesions, obesity, cancer, endometriosis, growths and tumours, carriers of infective organisms and a tendency towards blood clotting abnormalities.
I hereby give permission to the gynaecologist to do an extra surgical procedure that I haven’t consent to if he should regard it as necessary during the surgery to the bestwill of my health
If an adverse event should occur or you are dissatisfied with results, you are invited to discuss this with the gynaecologist. Should these issues not be resolved to your satisfaction, then you can contact the SASOG Secretary (via the SASOG website). Your Gynaecologist belongs to this organization that most Gynaecologists in the country belong too, they will take the matter further. They will help you with the process of mediation that you hereby agree to before reverting to legal action. This mediation process is completely free and is managed by the Mediation in Motion, tel.- 083 403 7324, e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important that you hereby agree to this confidential mediation process, and that it is done without prejudice.
It is important though, to realize, that your Gynaecologists values your health and he will endeavour to assure good surgical outcome and that he wishes you a speedy recovery and a timeous return to normal activity.
Pregnant Patient Information letter
Congratulations on your pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very special journey for you and your family and as Obstetrician I wish to assist you during this time. As member of SASOG (South African Society of Obstetricians and gynaecologists) I am dedicated to give you and your baby the safest care possible.
Prenatal tests an Ultrasound are done to check that all is well with your pregnancy. Some are optional and may depend whether you can afford them or not. It is important to realize that no test or combination of tests can ever guarantee a normal pregnancy. Many tests are only screening tests, like those that are to determine the risk of Down syndrome. Screening test, give an indication of the likelihood of the condition being present, expressed as numbers (risk of 1 in xxx) screening tests do not confirm the presence of absence of a condition. This will be discussed by you Obstetrician trough the pregnancy.
Ultrasound is perceived as being very accurate to detect abnormalities of your baby but the accuracy of the procedure is often limited by factors like, maternal obesity, position of the placenta, stage of the pregnancy, amount of amniotic fluid, foetal position etc. As a general rule routine anatomy scan will detect about 50% of serious abnormalities of your baby. To detect foetuses with high risk of Down syndrome specific screening tests are done on maternal blood and combined with ultrasound assessments. These first trimester tests have a sensitivity of 85% for Down syndrome and 5% false positive rate at a risk cut-off of 1:3000.
All pregnancies carry risks and although I would take utmost care to deliver your baby as safely as possible, there are unfortunately no guarantees as (despite best efforts) there might be underlying pregnancy characteristics that are beyond your Obstetricians control.
If any adverse event should occur during your pregnancy or delivery, you are encouraged to discuss these events with your Obstetrician or you can contact the SASOG Secretary (via the SASOG website). Should these issues not be resolved or a claim or dispute arises, you and your Obstetrician hereby agree to attend an entirely free pre – mediation meeting before any legal action is taken.
Without prejudice the complainant forthwith contact Mediation in Motion at 083 403 7324
NB! Signing of this document does in no way take away the constitutional right of any of the party to litigate if the process of mediation fails to bring about a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved.