It seems that the number of medical negligence claims are on the increase all over the world. This is partly because patients are more aware of their rights and certainly in some countries, such as the UK, the introduction of ‘no-win, no-fee’ deals with solicitors has made suing for compensation a lot simpler. The idea of a doctor being punished in some way is not new. History shows that a doctor could lose a hand for making a mistake. The Romans recognised medical malpractice as wrong, and as far back as 1200AD, there are records of the decisions made in such cases.
Today, patients tend to seek financial compensation rather than physical harm to the doctor, but the principle is still the same.
The Quality of Healthcare
The quality of healthcare in the UK is generally very good. Millions of people are treated every year by the NHS and the majority of them leave the hospitals or doctors very happy with the service they received and thankful for the treatment and care. However, in a small percentage of cases, something goes wrong. If the patient, or in the case of a child, their parents or guardian, think the problem was the fault of the medical staff, they may want to speak with solicitors that specialise in medical negligence cases.
All medical practices have to have liability insurance in case of a claim being made against them. Claims against hospitals are paid from the funds of the trust responsible for the hospital. It does not matter if the person at fault was a doctor or a nurse, a claim can be made if they have made an existing illness worse or injured you in some way.
However, medical negligence claims can be hard to prove, and to win the case, a court has to believe that there is more than a 50% probability that the actions of the medical person caused the problem. This is why it is so important to have experts on your side, as they will know the best way to deal with these matters.
Fewer Medical Malpractice Claims in the US
It is often thought that the US is a litigation society, but when it comes to medical malpractice claims, far more claims per 1000 people are made in the UK than in the US. Of course, they are two totally different types of healthcare system, but medical practitioners are medical practitioners the world over. It is said that the difference is not because doctors and other medical staff in the UK make more errors, but that more people make claims against them when they do. They also tend to receive larger amounts of compensation than in the US.
Most medical mistakes are just that, a genuine mistake that will impact on the life of the doctor that administered the care as well as on that of the patient. All medical providers endeavour to give the best care possible, but they are human and sometimes things do not go as planned.