The Philippines on Medical Malpractice

Sunday, September 13, 2020

In this time of pandemic, we have seen a lot of people struggle to go to clinics, hospitals to receive medical care. Since most hospitals are at full capacity, we see people sometimes been referred to other institutions, or flat out just give up or go back home because most of the time, they won’t be able to receive the care they need due to the lack of medical personnel. Understandable in some cases, but every Filipino should always have the care they need in times of emergency. The right and proper care with the safety of the patient in mind, and also the front liners, medical professionals who literally life and limb are out there for us every single day. Quality of work should never be sacrificed either because the last thing we would want is to have to suffer both on the patient’s side and the attending medical pro.  Medical malpractice is no joking matter and ultimately, we are talking about lives here. Aside from that, most medical personnel in the Philippines actually don’t have malpractice insurance. In the US, it is also referred to as professional liability insurance and some states do require it. 

Claims for this kind of insurance can be made against a clinician when negligence is alleged in the conduct of their professional activities like medical care. It is typically unique to physicians/doctors because if patients say they incur any additional expense or future hospitalization brought about the alleged malpractice, that is its main function. That could include loss of income because they would not be able to work anymore, also pain and suffering, or in some cases, if they pass away. Sometimes, it may include defense coverages that if in case you get involved in a lawsuit, they cover expenses all throughout the defense of the case. Aside from that, some products cover cyber liability cases wherein if in case there is a breach of confidentiality between patient-doctor relationships, they will also cover that too. It could be the doctor who is covered or the actual practice (for example you have a clinic and employ people included there) and they could be covered with that as well. 

Having that said, do you think medical malpractice exists in the country? I feel so. With the numerous incidents and stories seen on media wherein patients are not attended to, given proper medical care, the right prescription which results later on to incur disabilities, additional medical costs, and medical fees, who would pay for that? Most often than not, people take a blindsided approach which would be detrimental to the patient and the physician as well. This is why, there should be institutions that would cover this and I’m glad there are several of them now in the Philippines. Although if I were to ask of who is the best medical malpractice insurance in the country, that would be a small list. It’s all about experience and ease of getting coverage. Pricing is also different with shared or individual coverages, and how much of it is needed. It may be dictated by laws, it can be dictated that or simply advised by professionals. I hope things will be better soon, because both patients and medical professionals need protection like that. I prefer my premiums be low just like any regular joe because it might be a burden to an already very costly monthly bill we all get right?

I hope policies become very easy to understand and a lot of people get to know things that can protect them, their lives and livelihood as well. The country should do headway in protecting our rights, because that is a very important matter.


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