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Healthcare or lack thereof: Lessons for India from China – Addressing medical malpractice

Nov 3, 2013

A Countermeasure Research on Doctor – Patient Disputes and Medical Malpractice Insurance – Aspects of Local Policies and Regulations:

I finally have an English transcript of this paper presented at the 2013 China International Conference on Insurance and Risk Management, Kunming. The paper is co-authored by Li Zhongmin, Board Member of China Willis Insurance Brokers, Kunming; Tao Yin an Associate Chief Physician; Xu Wenjuan an Assistant Lecturer and Duan Xiaohua of Yunnan Chinese Medical School. It marks early days but for sure represents a very diverse collaborative approach to address a very serious societal challenge.

Abstract: As China’s public health affairs are undergoing reform and transformation, medical disputes are occurring more and more frequently and have become a serious social problem. According to statistics by China’s public health authorities, from 2000 to 2010, 148 major malignant cases related to medical disputes occurred nation-wide, ten murders merely in 2011. During the three-month period August to November 2010, as per the Public Health department of Yunnan, 765 medical disputes were reported by 2706 medical organizations in the province. With 150 unrests and 43 group disturbances which caused financial loss worth four million Yuan. “

“On March 23, 2012 a hospital attack happened at the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, leaving three hospital staff injured and one dead. The doctor hatred sentiment was aroused again”, according to this paper. ”The attack is a wake-up call for governmental and regulatory authorities. What can we learn from such a lesson? What is the fundamental cause for the situation? What do the medical system design, legal protection, administrative regulation and financial compensation lack? All these questions require serious consideration and contemplation from us and we can only find feasible solutions from the reality.

Therefore, the paper explores the problem from different angles: how to deepen systematic reform and improve operational mechanics, how to make policy and regulations and create positive legal environment from the top. And how to tackle the risk by combining legal, administrative and economic measures all together.

The paper provides suggestions on product development of medical compulsory insurance and commercial insurance. When a unified regulatory standard of medical malpractice is impossible to be imposed nation-wide at this moment, it becomes especially important and urgent for governmental authorities of different layers and local regulations to make action and play a full role in medical practice control and regulation. The paper aims to provide innovative ideas and practical examples in search of feasible solutions of the problem, which is also the difficulty facing this paper.”

It is indeed impressive to see some very fundamental questions being asked and addressed by a cross section of specialties – Insurance being one of them. The answers may not be at hand but the fact that all concerned have gotten together as the world of tort unfolds itself in the Chinese Mainland – solutions will emerge. It is this mainstreaming of insurance profession and discipline that the Indian market needs to also draw inspiration from as stray cases of attacks on hospitals keep getting reported. Perhaps a single regulator can tie all the loose knots far more effectively than what a plethora of control points would!



From → Articles, Healthcare

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