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Economy

Doctors to take insurance for settling malpractice cases

PATIENTS IN A HOSPITAL WARD. FILE PHOTO |  NMG
PATIENTS IN A HOSPITAL WARD. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Doctors and hospitals will be required to take insurance cover for compensating victims of medical malpractice if a new Health Bill is adopted into law.

The Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 will make it compulsory for medical practitioners to take a professional indemnity cover and will also require that every health institution take up an annual insurance against professional liability of its staff.

The insurance demand comes as Kenya witnesses an increase in medical malpractice which attributed to a shortage of doctors and equipment.

Data from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board reveals that cases lodged against gynaecologists and obstetrician are the highest among the complaints officially made.

The cost of negligence by a number of doctors has left a trail of painful experience among families. Court records indicate that more than 10 hospitals have since 2012 been ordered to pay Sh38 million for their doctors’ blunders.

“The move will protect patients, especially in the wake of the medical malpractice we are witnessing in the country. Once the Bill is passed then regulations will be made to ascertain the actual amount that needs to be taken by the doctors and hospitals,” said Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board CEO Daniel Yumbya.

He said the cover would protect Kenyans against loss from a claim of alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions in the performance of professional services.

The insurance ensures that should a claim be made by a patient alleging malpractice, negligence or a breach of clinical or professional care standards, healthcare professionals can meet the cost of any compensation awards.

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