QLD LAW UNDER ATTACK FOLLOWING ALLEGED BOTCHED OPERATION

QLD LAW UNDER ATTACK FOLLOWING ALLEGED BOTCHED OPERATION

A ROCKHAMPTON Hospital patient who lost a testicle in an allegedly botched operation could receive less than $3000 in compensation, shining a light on medical negligence law.

Bennett & Philp compensation lawyer Mark O’Connor says those laws, combined with state law that prevents many patients from claiming legal costs in medical negligence actions and a tough attitude by medical insurers, make most medical negligence claims uneconomical to pursue.

“The Queensland government’s laws effectively protect negligent doctors against compensation actions,” he says.

“The Civil Liability Act and especially the Civil Liability Regulation re-shaped the medical negligence landscape in a way that protects negligent doctors. The injury scale in the Regulation imposes a dollar value on every body part,” he says.

“Given these limits a patient could not claim legal costs in an action and medical insurers fight hard to dissuade claims. In many cases it’s just not economic for a patient to pursue an action.”

“Medical insurers are very difficult people to deal with. In our practice we get about two calls a day from patients who believe they have been victims of medical negligence. Unless claimants have a large claim for loss of income and ongoing expenses their claims will often not get to first base.

“We need an urgent overhaul of the damage assessments system and enable innocent victims to seek redress against negligent doctors.”

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