Budapest, August 5 (MTI) – Hungary lacks the culture for handling and communicating medical malpractice but legal issues are likely to gather apace in health care, business daily Vilaggazdasag said today, citing a report by market researcher Szinapszis.
Around 400-500 lawsuits are filed as a result of alleged medical malpractice every year and total compensation of 2 billion forints (EUR 6.4m) is paid out.
Some 32 percent of the doctors interviewed said lawsuits had been filed against them for alleged medical malpractice, and another 40 percent said they had received threats of a lawsuit.
As many as 90 percent of dissatisfied patients said they would have had reason to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice but eventually decided not to. Fully 70 percent said the prospect of a lengthy procedure deterred them and 44 percent the expected high costs of a lawsuit prevented them. Some 32 percent of patients said they did not know where to turn to with complaints.
A total of 16 percent of doctors said their colleagues were not at all prepared to handle issues involving patients’ rights and another 45 percent said they were not sufficiently prepared. At the same time, more than 70 percent of patients said doctors had the knowledge and skills to handle disputed cases.
According to the report by Szinapszis, the majority of patients are dissatisfied with doctors’ attitude rather than with the quality of health care. Nearly 40 percent of patients said the information they received from doctors was insufficient.