KMA is currently in preparation of an Act on Special Cases concerning the Settlement of medical malpractice for essential medical care.
Ministry of Health and Welfare has on the table 'the supplementary measures for patients rights'
[관련기사=의료사고 형사소송서 의사 유죄 한국 239건 vs 일본 32건, 7배 차이...필수의료 씨가 마른다
[MedigateNews] In the case of Korea, the proportion of criminal punishment for medical malpractice is much higher than that of other advanced countries.
Mr. Hyung Sun KIM, associate researcher of Research Institute for Healthcare Policy, said “In Korea, the average annual rate of change on the number of doctors who were sent to the prosecution due to professional negligence resulting in death is 2.2% but in Japan is -8.7%. Korea has shown 0.5% as 754.8 cases out of 140,000 people but Japan has only 0.01% as 51.5 cases out of 407,000 people. In the case of criminal trials, during the last 11-year period, Korea has shown 354 cases about the average annual total number of criminal trials and Japan accounting for 202 cases.
However, the conviction rate in criminal cases among them are 239 cases in Korea and only 32 cases in Japan.
“In the UK, it cannot be found that cases of crime for professional negligence resulting in injury among the criminal trials due to the concept and system for the negligence and also punitive damage reimbursement. In the United States, the cases of serious medical malpractice-related are over-prescription and using violations for medicine. There was no case of being punished due to surgery, ect.” he added.
In the case of essential medical departments, an evading phenomenon of residents is getting worse due to the risk of frequent medical disputes. There should be no institutional framework that prosecutes medical doctors for medical malpractice associated with the course of normal medical practice without intendedness and gross negligence or indiscriminate criminal punishment.
In this regard, Korean Medical Association is preparing an Act on Special Cases concerning the Settlement of medical malpractice for essential medical care. To be specific, the scope of application will be medical treatment, prescription, medication or surgical operation for patients with severe, rare and intractable diseases by the Minister of Health and Welfare.
The Act could be applied to high-risk surgery, and medical treatment, prescription, medication or surgical operation for the emergency patients, and also to medical practice during the birthing process for Maternal and Newborn.
This will first be applied in relation with other laws, and is based upon the principle of ‘no right to indict’ for health care workers of essential medical fields in the event of medical malpractice to the patient who has been provided with essential medical care. However, it is inapplicable to exceptional cases for essential medical practices without patient consent, medical practice not based on medical judgment, forgery or falsification of medical records, concealment of important facts, unlicensed medical practice, etc.
Mr. Seong Hun JEON, executive board member of Korea Medical Association, emphasized “Compared to other advanced countries, Korea was seen as having a significantly higher proportion of criminal punishment on medical malpractice. It's time for deregulation on the burden of punishment for health care workers of essential medical fields which is directly related to the life and health of the people.”
Ms. Mi Ra PARK, director of the policies for medical institutions of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, added "we will look at the exceptional clause of medical malpractice, the crime not prosecuted against objection, and other exceptive clauses through social consensus."
By Kyeong-dae Ha
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