High ethical standards - great responsibility
Doctors and other medical professionals bear a great responsibility and have correspondingly high professional ethics. This is also made clear in the famous Hippocratic oath: "I will apply the regimens of treatment according to my ability and judgment for the benefit of my patients and protect them from harm and injustice." Medical professionals around the world have been adhering to this ideal for more than 2,000 years. However, no medical professional is immune to misjudging a situation or making a medical error.
Medical errors can have far-reaching consequences
In the medical field, even small mistakes can have serious consequences, sometimes even severely harming or shortening the lives of patients. Here are a few typical examples of medical errors: An operation results in a pulmonary embolism. Since the surgeon did not inform the patient about this risk, she takes him to court. And the patient who goes blind in one eye after an incorrect diagnosis by the ophthalmologist will most likely take the doctor to court as well. Non-medical practitioners, midwives and veterinarians can also be affected – veterinarians for example, when a valuable racehorse dies after a colic that was diagnosed too late and the breeder sues for damages.
Human suffering - and financial consequences
In addition to human suffering, medical errors often result in tangible financial loss: For example, the patient who has to undergo surgery again after unsuccessful cruciate ligament surgery. The family doctor who forgets to report an accident will also incur costs if the LAI insurer subsequently refuses to pay the daily allowance. Sometimes, the financial consequences of a mistake can lead to lengthy negotiations. This might be the case, for example, if a baby does not get enough oxygen during a difficult birth and later shows a developmental disability as a result. If the gynecologist responsible can be held liable for this, he or she is possibly not only liable for all subsequent treatment, but also for the child's future loss of earnings throughout his or her working life.
Therefore, insurance is worthwhile
Professional indemnity insurance is compulsory for doctors and midwives, but is also highly recommended for all other medical and healthcare professions. This is because it not only pays for the consequential costs of medical errors, but also helps the insured to defend themselves against unjustified claims. Especially in the case of serious illnesses, there is often no guarantee of success If the hoped-for result does not occur, unpleasant discussions may arise. In general, patients are increasingly using the Internet to obtain information from "Dr. Google", question treatments and are more willing to take legal action. Effective protection is therefore more important than ever for all healthcare professionals.
Zurich: Specializing in professional indemnity insurance for medical and healthcare professions
With Business Medic, Zurich offers a special professional indemnity solution for all medical and healthcare professions. It pays for claims on the grounds of medical errors, provides support in legal disputes and defends against unjustified claims. Especially with Zurich, doctors benefit from a comprehensive supplementary insurance - it also covers losses that only become apparent after a practice closure or were caused by former employees. It is also easy to insure the expansion of a practice or a change in the declared field of activity. In the event of a loss, Zurich's team of experts is on hand to provide advice and assistance. It is made up of insurance experts and lawyers with many years of experience in the field of hospital and medical malpractice liability.