There are advantages to a small community settlement, where the family doctor, like the “village doctor” of yesteryear, knows the patients personally and is aware of their customs, which may be relevant to their medical care and contribute to its success. But this is a fact: the residents of the periphery or the residents of a small town do not enjoy the same medical services that are in the center or in a big city.
From a report by the Ministry of Health It appears that the life expectancy of the inhabitants of the periphery is shorter and the mortality rates are higher. The data are not surprising – not only are the queues longer, but there are services that do not exist at all in remote or small medical institutions, or exist in lower quality. The problem is exacerbated when the patient is unaware that the setting he has approached is not appropriate for his condition.
Adv. Shira Frieden, partner in the law firm of Caspi Srur & Co., Specializing in representing victims of medical malpractice, Explains that this picture emerges from the countless claims they have handled. Here are some examples of medical malpractice lawsuits we have dealt with, illustrating more common cases in a remote locality or in a small medical institution. Important to know, you should pay attention.
The hospital decided he was drunk, the stroke was not treated
Amir (fake names), a forty-year-old man, met up with the guys and drank alcohol. Suddenly he felt bad. The friends were startled and called an ambulance. In the emergency room, blood tests showed a low level of alcohol, one that allows even driving. Despite this the emergency room staff treated him as “drunk”. Amir lay for hours, and no doctor came to talk and examine him. If the doctors had approached him, they would have noticed that his mouth was crooked and that he was suffering from confusion and difficulty speaking – sharp signs of a stroke.
With these signs he was released sleepy and vague from hospital! Only after long hours, when he collapsed and was taken again to hospital, was he diagnosed with a stroke. Amir was left with neurological damage. If he had been diagnosed in time, he could have undergone cerebral catheterization with a good chance of healing, but not in the hospital he was referred to. In the first place, there was no suitable ward for cerebral catheterization.
The Ministry of Health report shows that many hospitals in the periphery provide limited medical services. Thus, in cases of strokes and heart attacks, small hospitals provide primary care after which patients are transferred to larger hospitals, sometimes located more than an hour’s drive away. It is astonishing that such events occur more frequently in the periphery.
Advocate Shira Frieden of Caspi Srur & Co. explains that neglecting a patient with signs of a stroke is a failure that should not occur in any emergency room. Gets faster reference with higher chances of success.
The HMO did not operate its own laboratory, the result – a delay in diagnosing cancer
Ayala, a young girl, turned to a gynecologist at her HMO, a small, secluded locality. Doe had risk factors for cervical cancer. During the visit, she underwent a Pap smear test – a test in which a sample from the cervix is taken for examination in a pathological laboratory.
Routinely, it is the job of the gynecologists to transfer the samples to the lab and verify results. But in that small locality, Ayala’s HMO did not operate such a laboratory. Ayala assumed that the doctor would transfer the sample to the laboratory, and would update it if, God forbid, the result was not normal. The doctor, on the other hand, assumed that Ayala would take the sample he put into the envelope to the laboratory. It so happened that the specimen “lay” in an envelope in a forgotten corner, and was never sent to the lab. B
After more than three years, Ayala was diagnosed with advanced and metastatic cancer. When the same envelope with the old sample was found and taken for a laboratory test, it turned out that even then, years ago, there were pre-cancerous findings in the cervix. If the test had been performed at the time it was taken, the doe would have had an excellent chance of healing, which had been damaged as a result of the delay in diagnosing the disease.
Short communication between hospital and MRI mobile – cost the patient complete paralysis
Samir arrived at the emergency room at a small regional hospital with back pain and leg weakness. A neurologist at the hospital suspected a spinal problem and ordered an MRI scan. “At the same hospital there is no MRI machine, and when the test is necessary, they order a mobile from another institute with the necessary equipment. H and had no contact with the neurologist who ordered the test.
No one reported the serious finding to the neurologist. Only half a day later the neurologist opened the examination disc and noticed the problematic finding. It was a long time before Samir was transferred to another hospital for spinal surgery – an operation that could not be performed in advance at the hospital to which he applied. The delay in diagnosis and treatment left him in a wheelchair, with complete paralysis in his legs and hands, completely nursing.
These unfortunate results would have been completely avoided had the decision of the Ministry of Health and the hospitals to unite hospitals in the periphery in clusters been implemented so that they could cooperate with each other. However, since nothing was done to promote this initiative, the hospital had to rely on a mobile from an outside institute that did not report the test results at all.
Is your doctor an expert in his field of practice?
Training of specialist doctors does not end with obtaining a license to practice medicine. A physician wishing to specialize in a particular medical field must continue his training as an intern for an additional 4-7 years depending on the field of practice he has chosen. During these years, the specialist doctor acquires the qualifications required to provide appropriate treatment within his area of expertise.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, there has been a shortage of professional doctors in the periphery in recent years. Due to the difficulty in attracting medical and nursing personnel from the center of the country. This shortage has led to a disturbing phenomenon, in which there are doctors who provide medical care without proper training, or even without the patients being adequately informed that the above doctors have no expertise in the field in which they provide treatment. Adv. Shira Frieden, explains to us about the phenomenon.
“A patient goes to a family doctor at the health insurance fund …”, says Adv. Frieden, “Sometimes he does not know that the doctor in the room did not do or did not complete an internship in family medicine – five years of training. ‘And not’ ‘a family medicine specialist.’ ‘Most patients are unaware of the difference.
A report by the Ministry of Health from 2018 shows that the rate of specialists in family medicine is significantly higher in the center compared to the remote periphery. The family doctor is the one who will see the patient more often than any other doctor. Suspicion of medical problem.
An experienced non-specialist family physician may also be a dedicated and professional physician, but training as part of a five-year internship may well be significant, and in any case it is the patient’s right to know and choose. “The issue is more common outside the big cities.”
Is this phenomenon common only among GPs?
“Family doctors are just one example. Another example is the gynecologists. There are doctors who have experienced gynecology as interns in hospitals but have not completed the internship or have not passed the exams. Nevertheless, they work as gynecologists in the HMOs. Usually a sign near the clinic will say – “Gynecology” instead of “Specialist in gynecology” – a so-called “semantic gap” that most patients will not notice and will not understand its meaning.
What are the dangers of being treated by a doctor who is not a gynecologist?
“The consequences of inappropriate medical treatment can be severe. For example, in one of the medical malpractice lawsuits we treated, a woman lost her fetus in her womb at week 29 because she did not receive gestational diabetes treatment. .
In another case of medical malpractice in the pregnancy we were treating, a doctor missed fetal malformations on ultrasound tests. “After the child was born and were shocked, we discovered in the investigation we conducted for his parents that the doctor was not a gynecologist at all.”
What to do? Awareness allows for choice
Advocate Shira Frieden recommends: “We politely ask and make sure that the doctor in front of us has the necessary expertise and experience for our needs. See a doctor to make sure he has received the results of the tests we have been waiting for. At the hospital, we find out if there are any wards that can handle the complaints we arrived with. . And most importantly – keep healthy “!
Source: Maariv.co.il – בריאות by www.maariv.co.il.
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