According to a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Hospital and published in May, 2016 on The BMJ, medical malpractice was established as being responsible for hundreds of thousands of death every year in the United States. Taking a look at the study which has recently gained more attention than when it came out more than three years ago, reveals why medical indemnity insurance has now become a necessity, especially for surgeons.
Medical Negligence is the Third Most Deadly Killer in the United States
According to the aforementioned study, errors in diagnosis, treatment, surgical errors and post-surgery attendance is causing the death of over 250,000 patients every year in the country. This makes medical malpractice the third most deadly killer in the US, with cancer claiming the number one spot, followed closely by heart disease.
More People are Susceptible to Medical Malpractice Now than Ever Before
A 2009 study published on Scientific American had put the number of deaths caused by medical negligence at 200,000. In spite of advancements in medical technology, it seems that the death toll has only risen, which is as worrying for the patients as it is for the healthcare providers themselves.
A More Optimistic Figure Was Provided by the IOM
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has a more hopeful figure than the ones mentioned above, as they have put the death toll from medical malpractice to around 98,000 per year. Although there is more support behind the studies mentioned above, even the “optimistic” count of 98,000 dead patients per year does not speak well of the country’s healthcare structure.
7,000+ Patients Die from Surgical Errors Every Year
The Institute of Medicine has reports to back the fact that more than 7,000 people die in the US every year due to surgical errors made either by incompetent surgeons, or neglectful attendance post-surgery by the healthcare facility. Additionally, around 12,000 patients died from unnecessary surgical procedures, which should not have been conducted in the first place.
While no recent data regarding the same has been published about surgical malpractice lawsuits and deaths in the UK, it should be noted that back in 2013, hospital death rates in United Kingdom were actually 45% higher than how bad it was in the US at that time.
It’s Not Always the Doctor’s Fault
Surgery on the human body is not a 100% predictable part of medical science yet, which is why even good surgeons may make decisions without even knowing that their actions could lead to the patient’s demise.
At other times, it was a lost cause to begin with, but the surgeon took a chance when most wouldn’t. The patient party is more often than not, too upset to understand all that, leading to a medical malpractice lawsuit that can and often does ruin a doctor’s career unjustly.
Incision medical indemnity insurance is a London based insurer that provides carefully designed medical indemnity insurance coverage plans for surgeons, their clinics and all physicians in general to protect the truly dedicated and skilled doctors from being financially and socially ruined by a medical malpractice lawsuit. On their site, they clearly detail how and why Incision can play a huge role in saving both the medical professionals and helping the patient party with getting the compensation they deserve.
The stats in both US and UK are quite alarming, and although this needs immediate attention, what is more alarming is that the actions of a few are affecting the reputation of the whole healthcare system. Perhaps it is time to take up a stricter attitude towards medical malpractice by the respective governments, so that the frequently accused doctors are not allowed to practice anymore.