Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors: the long march to accountability

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 09 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:a

In India more than half of hospitals do not have a mechanism for managing complaints from patients or relatives (p 588). Patients find that it's impossible to prove negligence because doctors won't testify against each other. In Nigeria I met a doctor who said that under no circumstances would he give evidence against another doctor. In 1999 in Israel 765 of 792 complaints against doctors were dismissed (p 588). Many older doctors in Britain can remember such a world. The doctor was trusted and dominant. The patient was uninformed, grateful, and believed in …

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