Doctors rarely admit mistakes, says report

Doctors and hospitals very rarely admit they have made mistakes even when a complaint has been ruled as justified, according to an article in today’s Volkskrant based on the latest report on patients’ rights by the health inspectorate.

Many unnecessary complaint procedures could be avoided if there was better communication, the report concludes.
Two-thirds of patients who submit a complaint are dissatisfied with the result because they are not aware of any action being taken as a result.
Often patients only want an apology and to prevent others from undergoing the same problem. But the paper points out that it is difficult for doctors to admit mistakes because their insurance policies forbid this. The report said only 15% of the cases heard by a disciplinary court are found to be in favour of the patient.
Meanwhile the Telegraaf highlighted the inspectorate’s finding that home care for patients is not properly organised, leading to unnecessary distress and further health risks. The report also said that little has been done to improve the cooperation between various health specialists in the last three years. Newspapers also pointed out that problem is that many patients are given contradictory advice on how to proceed with a complaint or are reluctant to take formal steps because they are dependent on their carers.

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