Bulgarians Refrain from Medical Malpractice Suits
Bulgaria's judicial system is hostile to patients who are seeking the protection of the courts over medical malpractice with fees amounting to 4% of the claim.
The issue was discussed Tuesday at a round table dedicated to the collaboration between the heath care system and the judiciary in protecting patients' rights.
About 500 to 1 500 people are seeking those rights each year after a doctor's mistake while 60% of them say their case is related to a fatality, sociologist Tihomir Bezlov informed.
Last year 200 suits were filed, but only 10 ended with verdicts of which 2/3 have been administrative penalties.
In the last few years an average of 8.3% of the patients (about 44 000) reported being victims of malpractice. From them anywhere between 1 000 to 3 000 (or 30%) have died. Only 0.3% have turned to the courts for justice.
The round table experts recommended the establishment of an independent authority for medical expertise, the introduction of effective insurance policies against medical malpractice, the creation of a national database to register incidents of malpractice and a strict procedure to probe the circumstances around the death of a patient.