I have tried to work with local psychiatrists and pain management providers to limit addictive medications to our mutual patients. I often find many providers claim lack of awareness to patient addictions and even document the same in notes. This seems disingenious at times since searches of state prescription monitoring programs can easily review multiple refills and multiple providers. This leaves me to address this with the patient and create a “preferred provider” network of more “attentive” providers, to put it politely.
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However, our legal system is set up in such a way where monetary damages is not only a way to compensate persons for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering; it is also there as a way to hold doctors accountable for their actions. Without the threat of monetary sanctions and lawsuits, doctors would lose some motivation for conducting their professional lives in a careful and cautious manner. Furthermore, if you doctor did negligently injure you or a loved one, bringing suit against him may serve as a wakeup call and could possibly prevent him from injuring someone else in the future.
First, you must show that the health care provider acted negligently. Medical negligence occurs when a professional violates the standard of care. The standard of care is the professionally accepted method for treating a specific disorder. This standard varies depending on a number of factors including the patient's age, overall health, and specific disorder, as well as geographic location.
According to the act, when the patient arrives at the ER or urgent care center, the hospital must determine whether the patient’s condition constitutes an emergency. If it does, the hospital must make all reasonable efforts to stabilize the patient. If a hospital fails to comply with the act, the patient may sue the hospital for both the monetary equivalent of the harm caused by the failure, and for an additional penalty of up to $50,000.
Hospital negligence includes surgical errors and much more. It also includes improper supervision, insufficient staffing, and misdiagnosis – the failure to conduct or to read accurately the results of medical tests. When any of the people who work at a hospital are responsible for medical malpractice, in most cases the hospital itself can be named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
It is not easy to get a full picture of the increase in medical malpractice cases in South Africa, as there is no central register. Cases can be settled in court, out of court or via mediation. If matters are settled out of court or via mediation, there is no public record of compensation. However, if all sources of information are collated, it would certainly appear that both the number and levels of claims are increasing, and this is affecting the overall cost of health care in the country, including what you pay for medical scheme cover.
There are special rules that apply when a patient has died, for children, and when a patient does not have full mental capacity, which your solicitor will be able to discuss with you. If you feel that you may have a clinical negligence / medical malpractice claim it is always advisable to see a solicitor as soon as possible so that they can advise on the limitation period and take steps to protect your rights to make a clinical negligence compensation claim.
If you file a complaint with the medical board and then file suit, know that the medical board can only take administrative action against the doctor’s license to practice medicine. It can’t help you pursue a medical malpractice case. It also can’t disclose any information that it collects during the course of its review with you or your family members.
Being unhappy with your treatment or the results of that treatment does not mean the doctor is liable or guilty of medical malpractice. The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment. To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor would not have if they were treating you under the same circumstances. The doctor’s care is not required to be the best possible, merely “reasonably skillful and careful”. Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often at the heart of a medical malpractice claim.
It might have something to do with the government plans for GP,s to work -8am -8pm -SEVEN days a week –AND – consult with patients on Skype and email. But that just one of the issues GP DR Sarah says in her blog – which to me sounds fair comment– patient.info/blogs/sarah-says/2014/04/gp-extended-hours-great-in-theory-but/ To me this is just a devious government action to justify full privatisation of the NHS . A step at a time–public anger– bad GP,s -government- we can help — then the next “problem ” initiated by the government till – the SUN newspaper – GP,s “damaging” patients health and – look how “good ” the American system is (full privatisation ) we should get it here , and all the Lemmings jump off the cliff in agreement. I should add the rich Lemmings survive, pity about the poor.
Medical malpractice cases are inherently complex and difficult to prove. There is no law that says, “If this doctor failed to do X procedure in Y amount of time, negligence has occurred”. You’ll need to find a lawyer with experience in medical malpractice cases (these lawyers typically have a medical expert available to look into potential cases) to look at the facts of your case, and determine if all the required legal and medical elements are there, to justify pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This is where a “Pain Management” doctor should potentially be liable (your avg. doc should not – but those specially trained in this area have NO EXCUSE for this kind of mis-treatment of a patient with a solid history). This is all well documented, there is no valid excuse in forcing patients into withdrawl and destroying a weeks or more of their life (or their lives entirely in many cases) – the impact to your family and job are tremendous. It is exactly this kind of poor practice that leads people down the wrong path to things like heroin. I was fortunate and toughed it out (my wife was very supportive), having the new meds (though not effective enough to control my pain 24/7) was better than nothing but the withdrawal ..was ..terrible AND unnecessary.
I just don’t understand it here in UK, why is it so bad? I’m from Australia living in London and when i first registered for a doctor i was told i would have to wait 2 – 3 weeks. So you have to know in advance if you’re going to be sick? I had been terribly i’ll for 3 days , fever, vomiting, diarrhea etc, so i decided to go to a walk in clinic instead where after waiting 5 hours i was told that i didn’t really need to see a doctor and i would only be seeing a nurse. Upon explaining my symptoms the nurse she asked me if i had eaten out in the last 3 days, after i replied that i hadn’t eaten out at all, she just out of no where looked me straight in the face and said exactly this “Why are you trying to deny it could be something you have eaten?”. I was literally just speechless. Anyway a long story short, she prescribed me water. I then went across the road to the chemist and asked if they had anything to settle my stomach and diarrhea and she just looked at me and said you need to see a doctor, i literally just laughed.