300 medical errors reported in 2013
The number of medical errors in 2013 reached 300 cases and compensations worth SR10 million were paid out to the claimants, local media said quoting insurance experts.
Wahid Al-Zikra, an insurance expert, said another SR20 million is due to be paid pending the final decision of the claims which are being reviewed by medical commissions.
He said nearly SR100,000 is paid for each case. According to the requirements of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS), insurance is compulsory for practitioners, physicians, surgeons, and specialists in obstetrics, gynecology and anesthesia. Ahmed Al-Riqaiba, another insurance expert, said insurance rates of medical errors are determined on the basis of the medical category to which the insured belongs and limits of compensation for each case.
Accordingly, the limit of coverage varies depending on the specialization which may go up to SR1 million in one year, he said.
All medical disciplines are covered by the medical error insurance system, he said. The insurance coverage for surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and anesthesia is estimated at SR500,000 whereas other specialties may vary between SR100,000 – SR250,000 for each case per year, he added.
Based on the latest data, medical errors that occur during maternity (child birth) captured the highest rate at 27 percent, followed by surgeries (17 percent), internal medicine (13 percent) and pediatrics (10 percent), he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Adham Jad, an insurance expert, said insurance coverage takes into consideration many things such as medical experience, certificates, age and history of medical errors of an applicant, hence a higher number of medical errors will result in higher premiums, he said.
The rate of insurance for medical errors committed by the medical staff working in the public and private sectors in the Kingdom does not go beyond 25 percent, the expert said.