The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) continues its series of reports on medical negligence. Today, Thursday, 13/10/2022, it issues its report on medical negligence as a persistent symptom. Through this report, it discusses medical negligence in private hospitals during the last period.
The report confirmed that there is no official statistics on the number of medical errors in Egypt, but the Ministry of Health estimates the number of medical errors in Egypt annually at 180,000 cases. According to the Medical Syndicate, about 20 doctors are expelled from the syndicate annually due to medical errors.
The report also stressed that medical errors is not limited it to one country, rather it occurs in all countries all over the world, but their repetition is what draws attention. Medical errors are a series that will not end, not just in Egypt but in other countries as well. Some countries suffer from this more than others, such as the United States of America, where medical errors are the third cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
In the Egyptian Penal Code, there is no such thing as medical error or negligence. However, against crimes of medical negligence could fall under the text of Article 244 of the Penal Code, as well as the text of Article 238 of the Penal Code.
Some people have a firm belief that resorting to private hospitals for medical examination or surgery is the most appropriate solution. This is due to their belief that the services these hospitals provide are not available in public hospitals. However, the truth is that neglect has affected some investment hospitals. It reached such levels that all they are able to do is maintain a clean front, if they were even able to do so. Unfortunately, some of these private hospitals are only distinguished from their public counterparts by name only or, at most their general appearance.
The report discussed the types of medical errors, their causes, and the patient’s rights and duties
The report also monitored 35 cases of medical negligence in 13 governorates. Through the graphic analysis, it was found that the number of deaths in Giza governorate is the highest, followed by Cairo and Alexandria.
Cases that led to death are also the highest, followed by ones that led to disability and surgical errors
In terms of gender, the number of women who have been subjected to medical neglect is the highest, followed by children and then men. This also shows that most cases are related to plastic surgery or childbirth.
In conclusion, the founder of the FDHRD appeals to the House of Representatives to quickly pass the law on medical responsibility. This law will be the only criterion to prevent clashes that occur between the doctor and the patients’ families, and differentiates between medical error and gross negligence.
He also calls for the establishment of a body that determines liability for medical damage. It should be independent of the executive authorities and considered an advisory body affiliated with the Attorney General. This body should include representatives of: the patients, the Forensic Medicine Authority, the Judicial Council, the Doctors Syndicate, the Ministry of Health and university hospitals.
This body, in coordination with the specific committees in the different disciplines, would determine the harm caused to the patient as a result of a mistake by the service provider, as well as the financial compensation for the recipients of the service, according to the damage inflicted on them.
Saeed Abdel-Hafiz, founder of the FDHRD, stressed that health is an inherent and basic human right. Despite the great development witnessed by hospitals and treatment methods, medical errors still occur. There are many cases of medical negligence and this matter must be confronted firmly.
We are also in dire need of a legal regulation of medical liability that addresses its various substantive and procedural aspects; Especially the nature of the relationship between the doctor and the patient, the concept of medical error, its standard, and its stages of application in terms of diagnosis, treatment and surgery, the rules for proving medical error, medical liability insurance, and the medical error record.
Mohamed Al-Badawy, Director of Research and Programs at the FDHRD, stressed that the absence of legislation on medical responsibility would open the way for a lot of diligence and spinning in vicious circles, and we may be facing a fertile environment for the continuation of medical errors in the absence of accountability.