of medical malpractice cases
Everybody make mistakes. A Journalist, a shoemaker and a doctor. Doctor's mistakes aren't an effect of deliberate actions, but they happen frequently. A situation of victims is not worth envying. In Poland the more important thing is escape from bearing responsibility than help to injured person. The victim pays for it with his/her life or health. When they (injured) try to fight for help or right to means of living, they run into a wall. If the mistake is easy to repair, most of doctors try to help.The tragedy appears when it is hard to repair the effect of malpractice and a treatment is expensive. Doctors don't want to designate guilty person and they let the victims suffer. Victim's family live in misery and spend leftovers of money for trying to save health injured person. Nobody treats the victim, who spends time for lodging complaints to departments, ministers, members of Parliament or spokesmen. Departments send letters according to authorities, it takes years... Sometimes happens that the problem doesn't live to sentence and is resolved in natural way.... Below, in a data we try to show a large scale of this kind situations.
|Amount of doctor's mistakes in USA, data taken from Harvard School of Public Health.|
|The american source (Harvard School of Public Health) announces
that due to doctor's mistakes in one year:
Within average human life (76 years) in a country the size of Poland, as a result of doctor's mistakes die about 1 100 000 people and 2 200 000 become a cripple. We draw a conclusion that 5% of society (2 200 000 of 40 000 000 people) become crippled and 3% (1 100 000 of 40 000 000 people) die. They burden each of us with 8% a risk (5%+3%), that someday we become a victim of doctor's mistake. There are a lot of WWW sites which deal with this kind of medical malpractice and statistics in USA, below we show examples:
|Amount of mistakes and statistics of compensation in Sweden|
|In the middle of 70 ths first in Sweden and then in other scandinavian countries was being established a consortium of few companies, specialized in insurance against medical malpractice. In Sweden, Sweedish Patient Insurance Association consists of nine insurers. These companies consider in a verdict way (very quickly) each patient's claims and pay financial resources in order to repair doctor's mistakes (treatment) or compensation. Doctors and hospitals, who bought an insurance are protected against financial consequences their bad decisions. Hospitals or doctors, who didn't buy the insurance are open to lawsuit and financial consequences. Now in Sweden live about 9 000 000 citizens, there are about 9 500 complaints each year, 45 % (4000) of them are taken into consideration. When a patient meet with a refusal of insurer, he/she can appeal against an insurer's decisions. If our medicine were on sweden level and amount of compensation linked to a country the size of Poland it would turn out that each year, due to doctor's mistakes it should be paid about 20 000 compensation. In a country like Sweden, each of us have 4% risk of doctor's mistakes. Data came from publication of The Swedish Patient Insurance -a pragmatic solution Carl Espersson Legal Advisor 2000 - Patientforsakringsforeningen.|
|Situation in Poland - data from CBOS|
Almost everybody know someone, who suffer as a result of doctor's mistakes. Public opinion poll carried out on 1094 people by CBOS in november 2000 confirm this situation.Almost 31% respondents declare encounter with mistakes in treatment or appropriate care defects. More details you can find on CBOS site.
www.cbos.org.pl/SPISKOM.POL/2000/KOM168/KOM168.HTM (in polish)
|OUR QUESTIONNAIRE - Poland|
Colossal amount of mistakes indicated by CBOS caused we decided compare CBOS'es data with separately polled questionnaire.
1. Group of respondents.
4.The analysis of results and possible errors.
|Data from Medical Chamber - Poland|
|Advocate of professional responsibility act in Medical
Chamber. They receive about 2000 complaints every year. In the meantime
verdicts are pronounced in doctor's judgements. In 2000 year there were
adjudicated and became valid 142 legal decisions discreted doctor's mistake.
Data you can find on server owned by Medical Chamber:
www.nil.org.pl( in polish )
www.nil.org.pl - part 2 ( in polish )
|Amount of doctor's mistakes which won approval by Medical
Chamber is in conflict with data from USA, data from Sweden and social
feeling from CBOS data and our questionnaire. According to data from Medical
Chamber, amount of doctor's mistakes in country the size of Poland is
200 times fewer than in USA. This comparison is very meaningful and we
leave it without any comment.Unfortunatelly, in Poland there wasn't any
objective research which could estimate amount of medical malpractice.
We should amend our medical law, that every injured person could be permited to receive immediate medical help. It is dishonourable cruelty when injured, seriously ill person has to fight in court over help, it is dangerous for us. Parliament should appoint institution of Patient's Right Advocate, like Consumer Spokesman or Children Spokesman. Citizen's Right Spokesman doesn't have means and isn't capable of looking after this kind of tragedies. If we brought insurance like in Sweden into effect, we would avoid conflicts with patients and doctors. We should remember, that even though mistakes happen, they are not an effect of intentional activity. But what we have to point, they are hiden intentionaly, and injured pay for that with his/her life or health Data above show that this kind of tragedy touch thousands of people every year in Poland.