Abu Dhabi, UAE: The new medical liability law adopts human rights in patient care, protecting rights of patients, physicians and health-care providers, a senior official has said.
The Medical Liability Law was decreed last month by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and took effect early this month after publishing in the official gazette.
“The new law aims to ensure fair treatment for patients, doctors and hospitals, so a better balance within the country’s health-care system is created,” Dr Ameen Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention for Public Health Policy and Licensing, told Gulf News.
The law guides health-care services to obtain malpractice insurance, outline doctor’s responsibilities and also details the process of investigation and disciplinary proceedings in cases of alleged malpractice.
Under the law, patients can report any malpractice or medical negligence by service providers or pharmaceutical companies directly to the health authorities.
Complaints will be referred to a medical liability commission set up by the Minister of Health and Prevention or the chairman of the local health authority.
The commission will decide whether there is a malpractice, how gross is it, who is accountable for the malpractice, its causes and results.
Patients, doctors and providers can appeal the decision of the commission, within 30 days, to a higher liability commission, set up by the Cabinet.
The higher commission will take a decision, which is final and binding on all parties involved.
For malpractice to be classed a criminal act, it has to be deemed ‘gross malpractice’ by the higher medical liability commission.
Dr Al Amiri explained that victims of malpractice or medical negligence can take action against their physician in three different ways: They can file a complaint with the local health-care authority, bring a civil prosecution case before the courts, and — if the result of the malpractice was serious enough — even pursue a criminal case against the doctor or the health-care provider with the public prosecutor.
© Gulf NewsSep 2016