Patients increasingly seeking compensation following erroneous healthcare - The Post

Patients increasingly seeking compensation following erroneous healthcare

Claims are costly to make, and barely a quarter are successful, but many more people are making them

Orthopedic surgery is the biggest culprit (photo: Pixabay)
July 10th, 2019 11:38 am| by Ben Hamilton

Patients are increasingly seeking compensation following erroneous healthcare, reports Berlingske.

In the last six months, the number of claims has risen by 13 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

Between 2014 and 2018 there were a total of 37,800 successful claims – 27 percent of the total submitted.

Before submitting a claim to Patienterstatningen and paying a fee of 7,625 kroner – the claims process takes around six months – patients are asked to consider four factors (see factbox).

Orthopedic pitfalls
Some 13,032 of the successful claims were made following unsatisfactory orthopedic surgery – 35 percent of the total.

Orthopedic surgery generally treats disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles, and the two most typical errors are operation complications or the misalignment of a fracture, which can cause nerve damage and infection.

Delayed and dubious diagnoses
In second place, general medicine accounted for 5,959 of the successful claims – 16 percent of the total.

Most of the cases concern delayed diagnoses and overlooked symptoms – particularly in the case of dangerous diseases such as cancer and meningitis, or in relation to blood clots.

In a close-run race for third place, gastrointestinal surgery (1,906) edged out general surgery (1,640) and neurosurgery (1,386).

Careful consideration ahead of compensation claim

– Were the problems caused by a failure of apparatus?

– Could they have been avoided if a more experienced specialist was present?

– Could they have been avoided by another treatment technique?

– Were the side-effects/damage that followed the treatment disproportionate and beyond what should be reasonably tolerated?

Source: Patienterstatningen