Dozens of Greek doctors appear in court every year for medical errors

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In recent years, the issue of medical liability and the frequent lawsuits against doctors because of medical negligence has taken on greater proportions in Greece.

The top five medical specialties with the most complaints about medical errors are Gynecology, General Surgery, Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine and Radiology, according to the figures announced during a conference held yesterday in Athens on the topic "Medical Liability: From legal theory to medical practice," by the Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS).

For their part, doctors in order to reduce the risk, in their majority (9 out of 10) pay more attention to drugs and diagnostic methods, practicing defensive medicine. However, this behaviour leads to the willful misuse of medical services and the increase in medical expenditure.

As noted by the president of PIS, Mr. Athanasios Exadaktylos: "Doctors are responsible for errors and negligence, but they should not be prosecuted for complications and side effects so that we do not continue in our lives to practice defensive medicine and be accountable to defensive Justice".

He also stressed the need for the medical community "to find a solution so that medical personnel, whether public or private, are not in courtrooms with unfounded accusations."

The Minister of Health, Thanos Plevris, during his presentation, referred to the issue of the legislative regulation that he promoted in the midst of the outbreak of the pandemic.

As he said, following a relevant initiative of the PIS, a regulation was passed limiting the civil liability of doctors for COVID incidents due to the urgent medical need. He even noted that the overall institutional framework should be discussed from the beginning.

The Minister of Justice, Kostas Tsiaras, as well as the Deputy Minister of Health, Mina Gaga, during their deposition, emphasised the need to take care of the medical liability that leads dozens of doctors to court every year, sometimes without any real data.

The conference was attended by a large number of doctors from all over the country, officials of the Judiciary and representatives of various Bar Associations, who in their positions underlined the need for continuous reforms in the existing institutional framework.

The topics analysed during the Conference were, among others:

  • Medical liability from a criminal point of view
  • Compensation in case of medical liability
  • What the combat doctor perceives as negligence and error
  • Disciplinary responsibilities in cases of medical errors, etc.

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