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How can I protect myself against something going wrong?

No medical/ dental/ cosmetic surgery is ever risk free. There is always a slim chance of something going wrong. Good medical travel agencies and surgeries/ hospitals will help you if something goes wrong. If something goes horribly wrong, that is not necessarily the fault of the hospital/ clinic.

 

To succeed in a legal claim for malpractice you have to prove that the hospital/ clinic was negligent, and that is never easy.

 

In some countries, the concept of negligence and malpractice is not recognised by the courts.

 

In others, people promoting medical tourism will claim that their courts are fair to everyone, whatever their nationality. But in reality, a foreigner is always at a huge disadvantage in any court.

 

The above problems may suggest that you should not travel overseas for treatment. But, in the UK, thousands suffer medical negligence or come out of hospital with a disease or bug that they caught there. Few try to sue the hospital. Fewer still succeed.

 

Insurance sold by hospitals

Some hospitals are said to be developing malpractice insurance cover which you can buy .The idea of a hospital asking you to pay them more money for an insurance which enables you to sue them if something goes wrong, may seem as absurd as a car thief offering you car insurance!

 

Legal expenses insurance

At present there is no cover from UK insurers, which you can buy strictly for medical negligence. You could buy a legal expenses insurance, but most insurers will not cover medical malpractice nor cover actions in courts outside the UK. You could try to sue an overseas hospital in the UK, but many have now adopted terms and conditions which means that when you sign up for surgery you agree that any legal dispute has to be settled in their country.

 

Cosmetic surgery insurance

No major insurer or broker offers or has offered any cover. Over the years a number of smaller brokers have set up special policies to cover the costs of repairing cosmetic surgery that goes wrong.None  have so far lasted.

 

This is an area where great care has to be taken as it could either be something that genuine companies see a potential, or for others to make a quick financial killing.


Last updated: 29 October 2013