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Maverick87

Liability on Medical Missions

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Hey all.

 

Just wondering if anybody knows anything about this.

 

I've been looking into doing a medical mission and have talked into a few companies. One told me that I would be treating 200 patients per day, as well as teaching students with minimal staffing and facilities.

 

After doing some research, I've found that while the risk is low, medical malpractice lawsuits are actually increasing in third world countries. 200 patients in a day is A LOT and very risky from a malpractice standpoint.

 

Just wondering if anybody has experience with this kind of thing.

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Hey all.

 

Just wondering if anybody knows anything about this.

 

I've been looking into doing a medical mission and have talked into a few companies. One told me that I would be treating 200 patients per day, as well as teaching students with minimal staffing and facilities.

 

After doing some research, I've found that while the risk is low, medical malpractice lawsuits are actually increasing in third world countries. 200 patients in a day is A LOT and very risky from a malpractice standpoint.

 

Just wondering if anybody has experience with this kind of thing.

That is sad that it is coming to this (malpractice). Where I've worked, malpractice suits were not on the radar and we had no coverage. In Pakistan, however, a poor outcome would mean the provider would be killed by the family that night so if someone was going down hill, rather than saving them (99%) we would have to turn them away to certain death or risk us being killed in the 1% chance they died on our watch.

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not an issue in Haiti. folks are more realistic there and know sometimes bad outcomes happen and it is not anyone's fault.

 

I don't remember if you went to Nepal last year or not.  If so did you run in to any problems there?  How did/does your group address this issue if at all?

 

I had two colleagues who went with the local team and neither reported any issues and to my knowledge did not have malpractice coverage individually before going.

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For some of these locations I suspect that they'd take all the help they could get, liability be damned.

yup, true of most of the developing world. one place I go to in Haiti we are the only care they receive EVER. NO ONE else goes there and the nearest rural clinic is a full day's walk away.

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yup, true of most of the developing world. one place I go to in Haiti we are the only care they receive EVER. NO ONE else goes there and the nearest rural clinic is a full day's walk away.

This is one reason why I want to be a PA- what company do you go through?

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This is one reason why I want to be a PA- what company do you go through?

seattle-king county disaster team for routine missions and NYC Medics for disasters.

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I have been to Ghana, Nicaragua and am headed to Dominican republic this May.  Never had any issues other than bureaucratic hoops to jump through before arrival.  

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I realize this is an old conversation, but I am planning to go to Mexico next month for a few days to staff a free clinic with a doc from my church.  The consensus here seems to be that no malpractice coverage is necessary for distant international work.  Any opinions on Mexico volunteering?  The doc going with me has decided not to worry about it, every PA friend I've spoken with about their previous international volunteer work seems to have no idea about malpractice.  Go with God seems to be everyone's attitude.  That just makes me nervous.  

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I just returned from Puerto Rico. Since it's part of the US, we were covered under Good Samaritan laws which are even broader when under Disaster definition.


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