Mistakes can be made by medical personnel but if these mistakes are avoidable and result in the alteration to the health or life of a patient you may have a claim for medical negligence. These negligent acts can vary from a failure to read a scan correctly to a failure to diagnose a patient and even surgical errors. Unfortunately, such mistakes can be catastrophic for a patient, as they can lead to a permanent, life altering injury and, in some instances, death. Irish law does not place a requirement on the medical profession to make a correct diagnosis in every case. The diagnosis however must be a reasonable one in light of the circumstances before that practitioner.
If the Specialist detects an abnormality, they have a duty to investigate further or to refer the patient back to the GP for review. Unfortunately, a breakdown in communication often occurs at this stage, and the patient is left thinking they are problem free. This can have a detrimental effect on the patient’s life. An example of misdiagnosis occurred in the 2004 case of Philip v Ryan. In this case, the Claimant suffered an eight-month delay in diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. The Claimant attended his General Practitioner complaining of urinary problems. The General Practitioner correctly referred him to a Consultant Urologist. However, improper tests were carried out and breakdown in communication occurred. Medical evidence presented in the case, opined that his life expectancy had been reduced by several years due to this misdiagnosis and subsequent delay in treatment.
We at Berwick Solicitors, Galway have seen a wide range of cases of medical negligence in Ireland against GP (General Practitioners) and Consultants. This can vary from failing to refer a patient to a hospital for further testing, failure to refer the patient for scan imagining to misdiagnosing a patient.
The courts have established that the primary duty of a GP in situations where there is uncertainty surrounding a patient’s health, is to refer the patient to an appropriate consultant or hospital for further investigations. Cases of medical negligence against GPs that we have seen tends to occur where the GP does not refer the patient to hospital and elects to treat the patient conservatory leading to further injury.
We have also dealt with cases of medical negligence against medical consultants – arising from misdiagnoses of a patient, surgical error or incorrect treatment plan for their patient leading to a worsening of their health.
To prove a case of GP negligence or a medical consultant negligence, a medical expert report must be obtained. Often, patients don’t know what to do when this situation occurs to them. We at Berwick Solicitors, Galway have over 30 years’ experience in the area of medical negligence claims in Ireland and have dedicated Solicitors that specialise in medical malpractice (medical negligence claims). If you think you have a claim for Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence by a GP or a consultant, and want legal advice, please feel free to contact Martin Kerrigan or Matthew Molloy of Berwick Solicitors, Galway for a consultation. We can offer you the support you need and explain to you the process of medical negligence claims in Ireland.
Please note that we meet with clients for medical negligence claims throughout Ireland in particular in Dublin, Galway, Mayo, Meath, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, Cork and Limerick.