When a patient is harmed by a medical professional, it isn’t always possible to pursue medical malpractice litigation. In some cases the issue may be that the case is unlikely to be successful and it is too risky to take it to trial. In other cases, the case may have strong merits but the payoff may not be promising. In such cases, is an injured patient unable to do anything? Not exactly.
One possible avenue for justice in such cases is to file a complaint against a health professional with the Health Professions Licensing Division of the Bureau of Health Care Services. This agency regulates and disciplines numerous health care professionals by working with specific regulatory boards, such as the Board of Nursing, Board of Osteopathy, Board of Psychology and the Board of Medicine.
The bureau is unable to handle disputes over fees or personal conflicts between patients and providers, but it does handle issues concerning professional responsibility. In the case of medical doctors, for instance, professional responsibility touches on all areas of practice, from diagnosis and treatment to cure and/or relief. When a medical professional is in violation of professional responsibilities, they pose a risk to the public and it is important to ensure the proper authorities are notified.
Whether or not one is able to pursue medical malpractice litigation, one can still file a complaint to ensure authorities are aware of medical professionals who pose a risk. An advocate is not necessary for filing a complaint against a medical professional, though an advocate may be involved if the issue comes up in the course of evaluating a potential malpractice case.
Source: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, “File a Complaint Against a Health Professional,” Accessed July 22, 2014.
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