NSW Medical Bulletin

Australia's Advance Medical Technology

Medical Malpractice & Compensation Laws

According to the World Health Organization, Australia has the world’s highest rate of medical error. In fact, at least 80,000 patients from the Land Down Under are hospitalized each year because of medication mistakes. Moreover, 50,000 Australians have to live through permanent impairments, while 18,000 lose their lives because of medical negligence every year.

Medical Malpractice & Compensation Laws

The Daily Telegraph reported that a woman in her early 30s lost her Fallopian tubes due to a “document mix up”. Instead of having her cyst removed, the doctor performed a bilateral salpingectomy. This procedure was meant to be conducted on another patient. The woman sought help from injury lawyers for medical mishaps and filed a complaint at the Health Care Complaints Commission. Four years after the incident, she received compensation damages.

In another report from The Courier Mail, the Queensland Government rewarded $72 million in damages because of birth-related malpractice in public hospitals. The said amount was recompensed during the past three years. As per the Queensland Government Insurance Fund, 17 independent claims from 2014 to 2015 cost the State Government $22 million. Some of these medical mishaps resulted in cerebral palsy and brain injuries.

The damage has been done.

Medical negligence claims present an opportunity in obliging hospitals to re-examine and re-assess their medical procedures. This way, the safety of their patients will be improved. According to the Medical Journal of Australia, the majority of the complainants are not all money hungry. If truth be told, they are not pleased with the insurance claim process or the resulting verdict. More often than not, they want that stronger measures be carried out in the future.

Since the damage has been done, the compensation won’t change the victims’ situations. They are asking that their injuries and the inflicted damages be acknowledged. More so, they need to see that the doctors be penalized and ask for an apology.

Suing for Medical Negligence

If you are a victim of medical negligence, you can file for malpractice claims against your doctor and/or the hospital. The threshold of damage is described in the Civil Liability Act. Based on the law, you are entitled to as much as $350,000 for “general damages for pain and suffering”. The loss of wages claim is limited to thrice the Average Weekly Earnings, as prescribed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The country’s law on medical negligence is highly technical. It is, therefore, important that you consult with skilled lawyers whose expertise is on medical negligence litigation.