Tue, Nov 20, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Third of malpractice suits are related to surgery: foundation

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Nearly one in three medical malpractice disputes that the Taiwan Health Reform Foundation dealt with last year involved harm done during surgery, a spokesman said yesterday.

The spokesman said that the foundation had received 471 pleas over medical disputes last year.

In 12 key dispute points, the most common occurrences include surgery-caused deaths, injury and wound infections, as well as malpractice, such as misplacing a surgical tool in the patient's body.

Other dispute points related to malpractice include bad communications between patients and doctors, diagnosis mistakes, prescription mistakes, case history forgery and other administrative mistakes, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, statistics from the Department of Health's (DOH) Bureau of Medical Affairs shows that its medical affairs review committee had completed probes into 5,381 medical disputes between the 1987 when the Medical Services Act (醫療法) went into effect and the end of last year.

The tallies also showed that 34 percent of all the disputes came from the surgical department, topping other medical departments.

Internal medicine registered a dispute prevalence rate of 30 percent, followed by that of gynecology and obstetrics with 15 percent.

Sixty percent of victims in those dispute cases failed to survive while 25 percent suffered from severe injuries, DOH statistics indicated.

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