In the state of NSW, medical negligence is all too common. Here at Gerard Malouf & Partners, we have over 800+ current matters ready to be lodged or awaiting determination by the courts.
According to the results of the latest Hospital Health Check 2018 study, workplace pressures may be to blame for such high levels of medical negligence in NSW.
Results of the survey
The report, published by Alliance, Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation (NSW) and the Australian Medical Association (NSW), analysed results provided by doctors-in-training who answered questions based on education, training, well-being and overtime conditions.
Of the results, those based on 'Overtime and Rostering' were some of the most shocking. Here, 43.1 per cent of 1,351 participants said their workload was somewhat too heavy, while 12.7 per cent claimed it was far too heavy.
As well as a large workload, doctors also voiced concerns about rostered/unrostered overtime. On top of their 80-hour fortnight rosters, some participants were recorded having worked an additional 30 hours per fortnight through rostered and unrostered overtime.
The combination of long working weeks and strenuous workloads may be partly to blame for the 64.8 per cent of doctors who are concerned about making a clinical error due to fatigue. This alarming figure means people admitted to NSW hospitals are at a higher risk of medical negligence. However, it's not just patients doctors are worried about. Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they were also concerned about their own personal health and safety due to fatigue.
Taking a look at the problem
In 2017, Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital came under fire when staff revealed they were at breaking point due to low staffing levels. Despite being burned out and exhausted, many staff members were still responsible for administering drugs and performing tricky procedures.
For this reason, the hospital was reported to lose the most amount of money because of medical negligence than any other hospital in the state. From 2011, the courts have ordered the hospital to pay $31 million to injured parties, according to the Daily Telegraph. However, the 2018 Hospital Health Check study reveals that the hospital's staff still place 'well-being' at a level of 37-50 out of 100 (a D grade).
While problems with staffing still remain, so will those related to medical negligence. If you've sustained injuries as a result of a medical professional's disregard, you may be eligible for compensation. Get in touch with the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners to find out how we can help.