Riyadh: Sharia Health Authority (SHA) has asked a doctor to compensate the patients who lost their sight in botched-up cataract surgery in Saudi Arabia.
Six patients have lost their sight in Saudi Arabia due to a mistake made by a doctor while performing cataract surgeries, local media from the gulf country reported on Friday.
According to Arabic daily Al-Watan, the unnamed doctor had made “grave” mistakes in the operations at a private hospital in the central region of Al Qassim.
The Kingdom’s Sharia Health Authority (SHA) issued a ruling to compensate some of the harmed patients.
As per the media reports, the rulings were issued after it was proven that the doctor made serious mistakes and performed surgeries that did not comply with medical standards.
The Kingdom’s health authorities said in a statement that it had taken the necessary legal procedures and referred related complaints to the Sharia health authority in charge of looking into medical blunders.
According to Saudi Medical Journal, SHA is a process of litigation for medical errors.
Saudi Medical Journal said the efficient process of litigation of medical errors is key to ensuring a fair, speedy, and accessible justice system.
The conditions for establishing medical negligence are similar in both legal systems. These conditions include the duty of care, breach of that duty of care, the damages, and establishing causation.
“A culture of litigation and compensation is growing in UK and Saudi Arabia; however the cost of medical claims and awarded compensations are much more in UK compared to Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, there is a need for more transparency in the documentation and publication of litigated medical errors. In addition, there is a need to introduce interventions to shorten the duration of litigation in both legal systems. Financial caps on awarded compensation and caps on expert and legal fees are potential strategies to control the cost of medical errors which seem to work well in the Saudi model,” the journal said.
Medical errors are defined as the failure of a management plan to be completed as planned or the use of a wrong management plan. “ Potential medical errors can be litigated to establish clinical negligence. Clinical negligence involves a breach of the duty of care by health care professionals determined as such through the admission of the health care professional or through the appropriate legal process. In general, litigation systems aim to compensate patients who are injured because of the negligence of healthcare professionals and to prevent healthcare providers from committing medical errors as a result of clinical negligence.
“The process of litigation involves a series of steps taken to resolve a matter, through negotiations toward an out-of-court settlement, or a full-court trial. The process of litigation of potential medical errors is key to establishing fair, speedy, accessible, and effective access to justice,” the journal said.