Teri Hatcher: “Okey before we go any further, can I check those diplomas ‘coz I just wanna make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines.”
That is a line from the TV-series Desperate Housewives of ABC in the US. Whew!!! check this out for yourselves:
I read about this on the blogs of Kengkay, Jun Anteola, the Brath and Ambo this morning. And I got really disturbed. When did ABC’s Desperate Housewives earn the right to insult and put into question the credibility of the medical schools in the Philippines? Well, at first I thought maybe this is what we get for the Nursing Board Exam Leak Scandal or this is what we get for the various corruption scandals that our government has been accused of being involved in. But hey that doesn’t give anyone the right to insult Philippine medical practitioners and institutions (med schools in particular).
I did a little searching and consulted Dr. Google on medical malpractices. I got this from the Fagellaw.com, a website of a US law firm that summarizes their successes in medical malpractice suits. Here are some:
- $59.3 million gross dollar verdict ($7.85 million present cash value) against a hospital in Contra Costa County on behalf of a 3½ year-old child who suffered a brain injury from a lack of oxygen at birth as a result of a delay in delivery by caesarean section. The mother developed high blood pressure during labor which led to fetal distress. After the hospital filed an appeal, the case was settled with the hospital and obstetrician.
- $43.5 million gross dollar verdict ($15.8 million present cash value) against a hospital in San Bernardino County on behalf of a 2½ year-old child who suffered a brain injury from a lack of oxygen when he was found not breathing at age 4 months in a hospital where he had been admitted for treatment of a respiratory infection. After trial, the hospital agreed to fund an annuity to pay the amount of the judgment.
- $38.2 million gross dollar verdict ($5 million present cash value) against an obstetrician and a hospital in Santa Clara County on behalf of a 4½ year-old child who suffered a brain injury from a lack of oxygen at birth as a result of a delay in delivery by caesarean section. The hospital settled while the jury was deliberating, and after the verdict and entry of judgment against the obstetrician and her medical group, there was a settlement which funded an annuity to pay the jury verdict.
- $23 million gross dollar verdict ($7.9 million present cash value) against a Medical Center in Orange County on behalf of a 35 year-old single woman who suffered a brain injury from a respiratory arrest following elective gynecologic surgery. After the trial, the Medical Center paid the judgment.
- $18 million gross dollar verdict ($5.9 million present cash value) against a physician and hospital in Sacramento County on behalf of a 2 ½ year-old child who suffered a brain injury from a lack of oxygen at birth after his mother suffered a uterine rupture during a VBAC trial of labor. After the trial, the physician settled for his $1 million insurance policy limit, and the hospital then paid the remaining net judgment.
- $13 million gross dollar verdict ($5.2 million present cash value) against a physician and medical group in Los Angeles County on behalf of a 3 year-old child who suffered a brain injury from a lack of oxygen at birth after a delay in delivery by emergency c-section. Prior to trial, the hospital had settled for $925,000 cash and after the trial the physician and his medical group settled for $4 million cash.
- $12.3 million gross dollar verdict ($5.6 million present cash value ) against a nurse anesthetist and an out-patient surgical center in San Bernardino County on behalf of a 29 year-old wife who suffered a brain injury from seizures and a cardiac arrest following cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. The surgeon and another physician settled during trial for $2 million cash. After trial the nurse anesthetist and surgi-center settled for the remaining net judgment.
- $10 million cash settlement against a hospital and neonatal group in Riverside County on behalf of a 2 year-old child who was born premature with an imperforate anus which was not diagnosed until after a bowel perforation, which resulted in the death of a large portion of his small intestine. The removal of the intestine requires TPN care for the rest of his life. This settlement is the largest pre-trial settlement in California.
Now those are examples of Medical Malpractice cases won by a single US law firm. Furthermore, here are some Medical Malpractice statistics from Ezine@articles that complains about the volume of malpractice suits against US doctors:
- Of all the malpractice trials in the United States last year, nearly 50% of them were against surgeons and other doctors representing only 75 of the largest counties in the United States.
- Another 33% of the malpractice trials in the United States last year was against non surgical physicians in the 75 largest counties in the country. Adding these two numbers together you get 83% of all medical malpractice suits in the United States last year was against only 75 counties. There are literally thousands of counties in the United States.
- Close to 19,000 medical malpractice payment reports were made in the US last year according to the Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS. This is an absolutely staggering number.
- It is estimated that about 25% of all the doctors in the United States get sued on an annual basis.
- It is also estimated that between 50 and 65% of all doctors in the United States are sued at least once in their career. That gives you less than a 50% chance of getting through your career without an incident.
- What is even more staggering is that of all the malpractice payment reports made world wide, over 80% of those payments were made by United States doctors with the whole rest of the world accounting for just 20% of all payments made for malpractice.
Why am I posting these? Well, just to drive the point that before the Desperate Housewives show look across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines, they should have looked in their own backyard first. Don’t tell me all these doctors who lost medical malpractice cases in the US are graduates of Philippine Med Schools. If you need a malpractice lawyer, go get someone from the US, they have a lot of malpractice practice.
I am not saying these to hit at American doctors and say that our doctors are better. The Philippine health situation leaves much to be desired, yes that is true, but does not mean our medical schools suck. Our system sucks because precisely it is patterned after the system of the Desperate Housewives’ country.
The Philippines is suffering from braindrain of medical professionals who are so in demand in other countries because of their expertise and skills. I just can’t accept this cheap shot from that TV show.
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