Hong Kong Medical Law Brief - October 2019 edition

Increased public demand for accountability of the medical profession and healthcare workers means a greater need to effectively manage complaints to reduce the risks of escalation to the Medical Council, Nursing Council, Physiotherapists Board, and the Courts. The key is to first accept that patient complaints will occur and to focus on managing them. This requires the implementation and enforcement of a practical and workable internal complaints handling system, regular staff training, and knowledge of this and other channels of redress. Prompt reporting and legal advice are a must.

Not only are doctors held to greater scrutiny and subject to disciplinary proceedings, other healthcare professions, including physiotherapists and nurses, are now at greater risk. We consider the recent decisions of the Medical Council of Hong Kong, where we successfully defended the charges against a doctor relating to the alleged failure to consider the patient’s deterioration in conditions thereby missing the diagnosis of Peritonitis and the Physiotherapists Board of Hong Kong, in which we successfully defended a charge against a physiotherapist.

We then share the challenges medical defence solicitors face in this evolving niche practice area.

We hope you enjoy reading this edition of the Medical Law Brief. We also welcome your comments and suggestions for our next edition.

Christine Tsang


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