• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Your doctor has insurance for errors, make claim if need be…


There is an insurance cover now protecting your doctor, nurses or other staff of that hospital you use. Should they therefore commit error during the course of handling you as their patient or a close relative of yours, rather than walk away and bear the loss which could be huge in terms of human life, demand that you get compensated.

Often times people leave the hospital complaining of medical practitioners’ negligence or mishandling of their medical case or that of their close associate, and instead of taking a legal action and asking for compensation they walk home angry and saying it’s in the hand of God.

The unfortunate thing is that the hospital would not ask you to go free without paying your bill, even when the error came as result of their mistake. So, why not make your case and claim damages if your right has been trampled upon?

In some cases, medical practitioners commit errors of omission or commission for example, misdiagnosis, neglect, bodily injury, mental injury and sometimes death.

It is not that you are being wicked or harsh to your healthcare provider or your doctor by asking for compensation over their error, it has been provided through an insurance cover by insurance companies.

The law establishing Health Management Organisations in the country provides that the primary healthcare providers must have a Professional Indemnity Insurance cover.

The insurance cover was to protect them against technical errors and neglect in the course of their duties. So, that insurance is for you to be compensated in the event of an error on their part.

Fola Daniel, commissioner for Insurance, said the commission has met with the regulatory authority of the HMOs referring them to the session of the law establishing it, which insists that primary healthcare providers must have Professional Indemnity Insurance.

He said insurance companies are prepared to pay claims when they arise, challenging healthcare providers to take covers for their staff.

Caroline Cole, a medical doctor working with one of the big hospitals in Surulere said it’s not that this insurance does not exist, but hardly do you find people coming for claims.

She noted that many people still do not know their rights, and often ignore these claims even when they feel aggrieved.

She said hospitals would no doubt take the insurance more seriously as soon as people begin to come up with claims.

Experts describe professional indemnity insurance as essential for any individual medical professional or medical establishment providing medical services because in today’s competitive, fast moving environment the potential for errors in the performance of services – alleged or actual – is all too real.

So, dissatisfied patients can sue when things go wrong and the financial ramifications can be severe.