Johannesburg - The Gauteng health department was facing more than 100 claims totalling R235m from state hospital patients, according to a report presented to the Public Accounts Committee of the Gauteng legislature.
Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital faces 26 claims, including a R5m claim for a patient who died after being treated for a toothache.
Steve Biko hospital faces the second-most claims - 12 - including a person who became blind after the wrong eye was operated on.
It also had a patient, now suing for R1.25m, who was allegedly raped and assaulted under sedation.
Several claims were related to negligence in treatment of newborn babies, including a baby who suffered brain damage after "a patient gave birth to a baby without staff help... as a result the baby fell to the floor and was left brain damaged".
Democratic Alliance health spokesperson Jack Bloom, who sent the report to Sapa on Tuesday, said there was an urgent need for better healthcare services.
"These claims reflect a horrific decline in treatment standards at our hospitals. Although some amounts claimed are clearly unrealistic they reflect the trauma of patients who feel they have been victims of bad treatment.
"Courts have lately been granting higher payouts for medical negligence, so the department will be paying many millions from a very tight budget.
"It would be far better to dramatically improve health care so that claims do not have to be made in the first place," said Bloom.