That’s the opinion of one prominent medical doctor – Dr Ananya Mandal.
Dr Mandal believes that most patients with legitimate claims never actually see any money coming from a malpractice suit filed and won. The doctor also says that at the same time many doctors who have not done anything wrong are found liable for very large payouts.
One of the major problems that Dr. Mandal feels needs to be looked at is the lack of real transparency and openness regarding risks patients may have when undergoing treatment. Malpractice suits would reduce if there was better communication on all sides. Most patients, according to Dr. Mandal simply want an apology when things go wrong, but this rarely happens it seems. Consequently, patients have no choice but to sue.
Unfortunately, it is also apparent that doctors are reluctant to come clean even if they haven’t done anything wrong. This leaves them open to being sued. Ironically, the reason they refuse to keep patients informed is fear of litigation. A circular argument if ever there was.
Larry Smarr, who is president of the Physician Insurers Association of America, told reporters: “Liability stands as a barrier to full and complete communication.”
Sadly, while everyone is in agreement that change needs to happen to reduce the numbers of malpractice suits being filed, there is strong disagreement about how this should fulfilled. For instance, one New York politician wants a limit placed on the amount that can be paid out.
No doubt the debate will continue for some time at both the State and local level as espoused by Steve Keene, general counsel to the North Carolina Medical Society. He said: “There are some problems with medical liability litigation that have not been addressed and have not been resolved…The costs of defensive medicine are very significant. Everybody has to pay for that.”