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Woman awarded millions for wrong diagnosis

By Sapa | 2012-11-14 11:58:41.0

The Limpopo health department will pay a woman millions after she was misdiagnosed with cancer in 2005, causing her to unnecessarily undergo a double mastectomy and chemotherapy.

According to papers before the High Court in Pretoria, a 49-year-old Rustenburg housewife claims she was misdiagnosed by a doctor in a provincial hospital as having an aggressive breast cancer.

After her operation and chemotherapy she discovered she never had cancer. The woman claimed more than R9.9 million from Limpopo health authorities in 2005. They admitted negligence and agreed to pay damages.

The matter was due to go on trial this week. Health authorities had agreed to pay 80 percent of the damages the woman could prove.

The province agreed to pay damages arising from, among others, the diagnosis of the woman by doctors at Polokwane Hospital's oncology clinic from May to November 2005, the subsequent bilateral mastectomy and the chemotherapy. The province would also pay her legal costs.

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