Consumer Protection Board Great Help To Medical Malpractice VictimsThe Korea Consumer Protection Board has become the advocate for victims of medical malpractice. Up until now, there have been glaring weaknesses in the field of consumer (patient) protection.
A spokesperson for the board announced on March 16 that they received allegations during a nine-month period of some 271 cases of medical malpractice with wrong prescriptions being given or doctor incompetence.
This number differs from that of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which during the last 18 years has had little if any complaints filed. Among the Comsumer Protection board's 271 cases, the most frequent award given for malpractice was a $45,500 settlement for cranial fractures of newborns by doctor carelessness (65 cases, 35 percent of cases filed).
There was a total of 198 settlements that included the refunding of paid medical fees. The most frequent reason that patients filed malpractice suits was due to accidents (124 cases, 46 percent). Next were complaints regarding treatment and post-operative problems (56 cases, 20.7 percent), and overcharging of medical fees (56 cases, 20.7 percent). Im Ki-sup in charge of the medical complaints bureau of the Board said patients could find relief by consulting with the Consumer Protection Board without the prohibitive costs of filing a malpractice lawsuit and be treated fairly and quickly.
by Yu Ji-sang