When it comes to medical negligence, it’s not just surgeons in hospitals that are at risk of being taken to court. Over the past few years there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of patients who are filing medical negligence claims against their local GPs. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of GPs in the Sydney area, but only a handful find themselves face to face with a medical negligence lawyer, which raises the question of why are people filing for medical negligence against their GP?
More than half of the medical negligence claims against GPs are due to wrong or missed diagnoses. We’ve all been to one doctor or another and felt that they haven’t really listened to what we’ve said about our symptoms, or they haven’t been as rigourous in their testing as they could be. Most people then choose to see another doctor to get a second opinion, but is this really the best thing you can do?
This is where claims of medical negligence come in. The NHS in the UK recently suggested that it would create a database accessible to patients that would record important data about their GPs and relevant practices. This database would allow patients to look up their local medical practice and GP and see what percentage of errors they make within a certain time period meaning they can find a quality GP. Realistically, it would be very easy for the media to abuse and manipulate the facts of this database, and it was shouted down by medical organisations.
At present the best way, all around the world, to make sure that a GP who provides poor care is properly handled is to file a medical negligence claim. This is why we’re seeing such a huge rise in medical negligence claims across the world. For the meantime the onus is on the patient to make sure that GP doesn’t continue to get away with poor service.