Malpractice Coverage and Treatment Abroad

With the cost of treatment in the U.S. , many have looked into treatment abroad know as "medical tourism." In the increasingly popular phenomena patients are traveling to foreign destinations to take advantage of the lower prices, and excellent quality. In fact many foreign hospital suites resemble a 5-star hotel more than the typical room in a U.S. Hospital. However for most the question of malpractice coverage, and what a patients rights in a foreign country are likely to arise soon after anyone begins looking into treatment abroad. In this post I plan to shed some light on how many patient actually have better malpractice coverage abroad than the would otherwise have in the U.S.

Comparison of Malpractice Coverage in the U.S. and Abroad

United States- While having a medical procedure in the U.S. patients usually recieve some level of malpractice coverage from both the doctor performing the procedure, as well as the hospital or facility where the procedure is taking place. Should malpractice occur, the patient can choose to sue either party.

Although the patient can choose to litigate with the doctor, hospital or both, the patient will have to pay legal fees out of their own pocket in most cases and even then litigation often drags on for years before a resolution occurs.

Worse yet is the fact that numerous studies show that physicians win 80% to 90% of jury trials, and even in malpractice cases with extremely strong evidence that malpractice occurred the statistics show that jurys still sided with the doctors 50% of the time.

"Reputable trial lawyers who specialize in litigating malpractice cases do not relish taking every case to court. Why? Because "we are likely to loose," says (Jeff) Kimmel (partner at the law firm of Salenger, Sack, Schwatz & Kimmel.) He estimates that 80% of medical malpractice cases that go to trial rule for the defendant - much worse odds than most other personal injury cases." - Florida Bar Association Newsletter

So while patients can sue the hospital and doctor, litigation can be an expensive and long process, and even with the strongest of cases, the statistics show that the odds are still against the patient.

Sources:

Treatment Abroad with GME (Medical Tourism) - While we cant speak for all companies operating in the medical tourism domain the following explains the malpractice protection offered to all of our (GME's) patients. All Global Medical Excellence (GME) affiliated doctors, are required to carry international malpractice coverage while performing procedures internationally. Hospitals and care facilities are also required to carry the necessary levels of malpractice coverage. With that being said you would be protected in the same manner as if you where having your medical procedure in the U.S. However thats where GME offers you an extra level of protection. In addtion to our doctors and hospitals having malpractice coverage, all patients traveling abroad have additional personal malpractice coverage aside from that of the doctor and the hospital.

Whats the advantage of this you might ask? Well in the rare event that malpractice occurred you would simply file a claim under the personal malpractice coverage we provided you with and after verifying the claim they would pay out 80% up front before any litigation even occurs. 

Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Insurance