World Patient Safety Day launched to tackle medical negligence problem

By Gary Adair

The first World Patient Safety Day was launched yesterday in response to the growing problem of medical negligence across the globe.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that 138 million patients are harmed every year as a result of medical negligence, including mistakes in diagnosis, medicine prescriptions and treatments, the taking and interpretation of X-rays, errors in blood transfusions, and more extreme cases of the wrong limbs being marked for amputation.

WHO are launching the campaign to raise awareness of the scale of the problem when it comes to medical negligence, with their patient-safety coordinator Dr Neelam Dhingra-Kumar blaming “a lack of a clear hierarchy in certain hospitals, or insufficient communication among the workers.” Other factors cited include a severe lack of resources in many hospitals, and also a failure to deal with errors and learn from them, most particularly as a result of trying to hide errors.

As is the case with most types of personal injury compensation cases, there can be a stigma around medical negligence claims. Many people who suffer an injury or the worsening of a condition as a result of a clinical error will consider that the hospital staff were trying their best, and that you take your chances when it comes to medical treatment.

The difficulty is that many of those people will end up paying for those errors in some form or other. Their career opportunities could be affected. They may find themselves paying to make adjustments to their home or in other areas of their life. Or in the case of a death as a result of medical negligence other family members may suffer financially  as a result of a loss of earnings coming in to the household, or the death of someone who provided care for children or others can result in the need for alternative arrangements to be made at a cost.

Medical negligence compensation is never a windfall for a victim. At best it tries to put them in a position where they are not at a financial disadvantage as a result of the errors made in their treatment and care.

 

If you require legal advice from a medical negligence solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by clicking here and one of our claims experts will get in touch at a time of your convenience.