An overseas medical practitioner and the health facility may be legally responsible if medical negligence can be demonstrated. This is known as medical malpractice. Some commentators make a lot of noise that you should not go abroad for treatment as unlike the US and UK, you will not be able to sue for medical negligence. What they forget to tell you is that under 5% of those in the US or UK who suffer medical malpractice, even attempt to sue. Only a few of those succeed and malpractice suits can cost time and money to pursue. Hospitals wheel out specialist lawyers, experts, and doctors to seek to prove that there was no malpractice, and any applicant’s life gets put under microscopic investigation.
Not every operation or process succeeds. There can be many reasons for this, of which malpractice is only one. So insurance for medical complications is a good idea.
To pursue a claim for medical negligence, a departure from the accepted standards for procedures in the country in which the surgery was carried out must be demonstrated. So not only must the legal claim be brought using the local legal system, but the claim must be established according to local medical standards of practice and local laws. Some legal systems permit waivers to exclude claims for negligence. As a result, claims for medical negligence face poor prospects of success, and are likely to succeed only in cases where the negligence is obvious and it is possible to retain a good local lawyer with language skills.
For cosmetic surgery, it is almost impossible to prove medical negligence for various reasons. As a result, the patient will always need to meet the cost of reconstructive cosmetic surgery from their own pocket.
Even if medical negligence is demonstrated, recovery can be an expensive and uncertain process. Medical Indemnity Insurance is not compulsory in many countries, and even if it exists, may be limited in amount, or exclude foreign tourists.
Medical complications insurance provides some cover if the treatment has to be remedied or corrected.
Medical complications insurance is not medical negligence insurance, and does not enable you to sue hospitals, doctors or agencies.
Medical malpractice insurance is medical complications cover plus cover for other losses you suffer.
Medical malpractice cover for individuals is first person loss only and does not assist you in suing any doctor, hospital or agency. We know only of one such policy in the world, and that will only cover JCI accredited hospitals.