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New solutions of paying compensation for medical errors

New solutions of paying compensation for medical errors

Dodano: 2016-04-19

Development of the draft Act on benefits for medical accidents, developed by the Ministry of Health, is nearing to the end. The project provides for regulation of the payment of compensation for patients injured as a result of medical error. The Ministry of Health has proposed to introduce a unified rate of 780 PLN for each 1 per cent of detriment to health resulting from medical error.

The project aims at introducing and expanding of non-judicial dispute resolution methods. Currently, patients must claim for acknowledging their requests in long and burdensome proceedings. Instead of these, the project assumes to establish a special accident fund which would replace the current committees on medical accidents, that arbitrarily determine the amount of compensation, often leading to a grotesque situation such as receiving a compensation in the amount of 500 PLN for the death of a child, while having no right to appeal.

The project will introduce a uniform rate of compensation for medical errors depending on the size of incurred detriment to health. The fund would also pay a disability pension to people who were refused to grant social insurance benefit. The fund would be also entitled to send patients to rehabilitation or recovery treatment. Financial funds for the payment of benefits would come from the contributions of the health care establishments.

In addition to changes in the determination of benefit amount and in the process of raising claims by patients the project shall abolish the obligation to prove the guilt of medical errors. Medical practice shows that frequently it is not possible to impose guilt for a failed surgery on a particular person. New solutions will bypass the necessity to prove responsibility. Victims will receive compensation for the consequences of a medical error, and not as a result of proving the guilt of the person responsible for the error.

The Minister of Health believes that, this solution will enable to rebuild the relationship of trust and solidarity between the patient and the physician, which, in the Minister’s opinion, will result in improvement of quality of medical services and the elimination of medical errors.

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