Problem

Increase in insurance claims for medical negligence

Other Names:
Increase in health insurance claims against malpractice
Nature:
Medical negligence claims in the developed world have become so numerous that doctors often refuse to take difficult cases or perform unnecessary procedures rather than risk the danger of a lawsuit. Other doctors are paying exorbitant rates to insure themselves against this risk. These factors contribute to already skyrocketing health costs, without providing any appreciable increase in the quality of healthcare.

Largely because of the increase in negligence claims one in four births in the USA are performed by Caesarean section. Also in the US insurance companies are talking about premiums of $50,000 a year for midwives who have an average income of $25,000 to $30,000 a year. Many general practitioners are refusing to have anything to do with delivering babies.

Incidence:
In 1995 in Britain, the medical ombudsman reported 1782 medical malpractice complaints against the national health service, an increase of 29% over the previous year. Two thirds of these complaints were valid. The high number of British medical malpractice complaints has been blamed on inadequate training of doctors: they are not taught to admit mistakes, nor to deal with complaints.
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
12.05.2000 – 00:00 CEST