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Practice Matters aims to provide practical tips on risk management and medicolegal issues for your whole practice. As a not-for-profit mutual organisation, we seek to share our experiences to improve the quality of healthcare and improve understanding about patient safety.

There is a wealth of diversity in the way that primary healthcare is delivered in South Africa. But whether you work single-handedly or as part of a large clinic, in a rural setting or in an urban centre, or in the public or private system, the potential medicolegal pitfalls remain a constant.

On the record’ offers tips to reduce your risk by keeping patient records accurate – and securely stored.

Doctors today have to practise in an increasingly hostile, pressurised and uncertain healthcare environment. The rising costs of clinical negligence claims are not only having a financial impact, they are making some GPs, understandably, practise more cautiously and more defensively.

Doctors are also under a professional obligation to be open and honest. Probity and professionalism go hand in hand, and we look at the consequences of bending the truth.

We hope you enjoy this edition and would be interested to hear your comments, as well as any topics you would like us to feature in future editions.

Dr Graham Howarth
Editor-in-chief, MPS Head of Medical Services (Africa)

Disclaimer: All information is correct at the time of publishing (July 2013)