2013-10-20 10:41:35 - Mock Trial featuring case of medical malpractice new feature at Arab Health Congress 2014
Dubai, UAE; Medical malpractice has always been a hot topic in the medical field, and the importance of understanding its legal basis in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is significant to both patients and medical practitioners. Victims, or their families, need to know how to present their complaints to the appropriate authorities and what remedies are available to them, while medical practitioners need to be aware of the possible civil law, criminal law or regulatory outcomes of any such complaints.
In order to decode how the UAE’s laws applies to medical practice, the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress will host a new conference session, ‘The Mock Civil Trial: Medical Malpractice in UAE’, which will take place on 29 January 2014,
at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center. The conference session will be moderated by Stephen Ballantine, Solicitor and Senior Associate at Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants, Dubai, UAE.
According to Mr Ballantine, “A victim of medical malpractice has the option of pursuing a complaint in three different ways within Dubai; filing a civil case at the Dubai Court, filing a complaint with the Dubai Police or Public Prosecutor that may result in a criminal case being instituted against the physicians involved and filing a complaint with the Dubai Health Authority as the appropriate regulatory authority.”
The objective of a criminal case is to punish an offender and deter other physicians from criminal conduct whereas the objective of a civil case is to ensure that a victim is appropriately compensated. The offences of professional criminal negligence are set out in the UAE Penal Code Articles 342 and 343 which provide for not insubstantial fines or custodial sentences where individuals are injured or killed by another whilst practicing a profession. The ambit of these offences includes physicians and medical practitioners.
“A function of the regulator is to ensure that appropriate medical professional standards are maintained and complaints lodged with the DHA are investigated and, if substantiated, medical service providers and physicians may face fines or restrictions on, or the cancellation of, physician’s licenses. The DHA has a powerful array of sanctions available to it,” says Mr Ballantine.
According to Mr Ballantine, there are substantial costs implications, to both complainant and physician alike, in the manner in which medical complaints are pursued.
“Reporting the case to regulator will not usually require the involvement of lawyers and it is free to file. Once a complaint is filed, the concerned medical services provider and physicians are contacted and they will be required to forward the medical file and have the relevant medical staff available for interview. A complaint to the criminal authorities is free to file and does not usually require the services of a lawyer. However, a physician being investigated would be well-advised to engage a lawyer to assist with the investigation and in his or her defense, in the event of a criminal case being filed.
“The vast majority of cases are, however, pursued through the civil courts with a plaintiff seeking monetary compensation. A plaintiff shall be required to incur court filing fees calculated as a percentage of the amount claimed together with not insubstantial professional legal fees and, possibly, the fees of court appointed medical experts. Physicians and medical service providers will usually enjoy the benefit of professional indemnity insurance to take care of their legal costs and to meet any judgment amounts found against them-subject to the relevant policy terms and conditions,” says Mr Ballantine.
For more information about the Mock Civil Trial at Arab Health Exhibition & Congress 2014, please visit www.arabhealthonline.com
Note to Editors
About Arab Health Exhibition & Congress
Arab Health Exhibition & Congress is the second largest healthcare event in the world, the largest in the Middle East. Established 39 years ago, Arab Health provides a platform for the world’s leading manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to meet the medical and scientific community in the Middle East and subcontinent. Arab Health, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, takes place from 27-30 January 2014 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. With more than 3900 exhibiting companies from 63 countries, Arab Health is a much anticipated addition to the 2014 medical event calendar in the Middle East and subcontinent region.
About Galadari Law, please visit:Website: www.galadarilaw.com
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