The healthcare industry is known to be one of the most challenging types of work that anyone can think of. People often spend years studying and countless hours before they are even qualified to practice. Healthcare industry workers like doctors and nurses are often praised for their ability to save lives and consistently develop cures. Still, this praise comes behind a very challenging line of work, and that line of work leaves them at risk of facing many threats, some of which can be life-threatening. Most individuals in the industry often have medical malpractice liability insurance by encounter a negative outcome. With that being said, here are five critical risks doctors face in Singapore’s healthcare industry.
Five critical risk factors healthcare professionals can be protected from, with a medical malpractice liability insurance
1. Technological Risks
This might come as a surprise to people who are new to the industry. Still, cyber security issues are one of the most frequent risks faced by healthcare workers in Singapore and anywhere in the world. Confidential medical health records of patients are precious information. They can often be sold on the black market for a very high price. For this reason, cybercriminals are constantly targeting healthcare service providers. Cyber-attacks can significantly affect a doctor’s career, tarnishing their reputation and preventing them from practicing medicine. In some cases, it may even lead to legal issues.
Malfunctioning medical devices and data entry errors are also significant risks. Even though technological advancements have done a great deal to improve doctors and their efforts to save lives, technology can also fail. When used to keep a patient’s life and monitor their health, this could lead to disastrous consequences. Medical malpractice liability insurance would be hugely advantageous in situations like this.
2. Healthcare infections
Any constant risk that is part and parcel of working in the healthcare industry is the frequent exposure to infectious diseases, some of which might be potentially life-threatening. An excellent example of this was the coronavirus pandemic that took over the world, with healthcare workers having to risk their lives daily to save others. This was incredibly challenging for doctors and nurses in Singapore, as the resources to handle many patients in such a short period could never have been anticipated. Since the pandemic, there has been a steady rise in healthcare centres that have invested in medical liability insurance, to support workers facing such cases.
3. Lack of Manpower in healthcare centres
Many people only perceive hospitals where people are healed, and lives are saved. A hospital however requires enough doctors, nurses, other supporting medical and nursing staff and healthcare facilities to function ideally and efficiently. Hospitals are currently severely understaffed in terms of supporting medical and nursing personnel.
Doctors have had trouble admitting sick patients to private hospitals since 2022, when the population began to live with Covid-19, due to a lack of nurses and other supporting staff. This kind of situations would pressurise available doctors to cater to a higher volume of patients with limited resources. Such situations may result in errors or omissions while treating patients. Such problems will be addressed with medical malpractice liability insurance in place. It would cover hospitals in the case of an error or omission while treating a patient.
4. Alarm Fatigue
Hospital nurses and doctors spend countless hours in an environment where the beeping and clicking of medical devices are constant and unending. Alarms, as we all know, are designed to draw attention in the case of an emergency. Still, continuous exposure to them can lead to them being tuned out by overwhelmed medical professionals who are often forced to focus on many tasks simultaneously. Alarm fatigue has been raised as one of the biggest concerns in hospitals all over Singapore. A matter of seconds could lead to a loss of life or permanent damage to a patient’s health. A patient losing their life or having permanent complications as a result of negligence from hospital staff is as bad as it gets in terms of a mistake. A medical worker and the facility are almost sure to be suspended, sued, and sometimes incriminated. Most medical healthcare workers are aware of the risk of being responsible for someone else’s life and well-being, which is why nearly anyone in the field will highlight the importance of having the appropriate industry solutions in terms of the right insurance on your side just in case.
Advances in technology, the current shortage of doctors, and the dramatic increase in the number of patients seeking care online have led to the need for remote services for patients who cannot stay in or visit the hospital. As a result, more and more medical facilities are expanding their use of telemedicine. Many hospitals all over Singapore are starting to use some form of telemedicine to care for their patients. However, telemedicine can also lead to allegations of negligence if allocated healthcare professionals do not have the proper training, experience and qualifications to diagnose illnesses correctly. As the demand for telemedicine has been on a constant rise, significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic, the chances of improper diagnosis and distribution of drugs have risen, making it a serious concern to the healthcare industry.
The importance of having a medical malpractice liability insurance in summary
The five significant dangers doctors face in Singapore’s healthcare sector are listed above. Let’s quickly discuss medical malpractice liability insurance and how it might benefit physicians. A specific type of professional liability insurance for healthcare practitioners is medical malpractice insurance, often known as medical professional liability insurance. It safeguards doctors and other medical workers when carelessness causes patient harm or property damage.
Medical personnel are shielded from responsibility by medical malpractice insurance in cases where medical negligence is alleged to have caused damages or injuries. The liability insurance provider pays the expenses if a healthcare professional makes a mistake that results in physical harm, property damage, or other damages like mental suffering. Medical malpractice insurance also pays for the costs of fighting against malpractice claims, such as legal bills, expert witness fees, administrative costs, and other associated expenditures. For every doctor, deciding whether to get professional liability insurance is crucial.
Hospital doctors are often obliged to carry insurance. Private practice medical professionals, however, have more freedom in determining whether to get insurance. A doctor who decides without purchasing professional liability insurance takes a significant emotional and financial risk. The choice to buy insurance can assist in safeguarding both the patients’ and the doctor’s financial security.