Helping patients with medical errors | Bangkok Post: learning

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Helping patients with medical errors

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A proposed law that makes it easier for patients who suffer from medical errors (malpractice) may just disappear, if not acted on soon by parliament. 

medical malpractice

Photo above of health activist Preeyanan Lorsermwattana and patients affected by medical errors distribute leaflets in the Silom area yesterday, urging support for the Medical Malpractice Compensation Bill. They want the public to write to the prime minister urging the government to back the bill. (photo by APICHART JINAKUL). 

Click button to listen to Medical Malpractice Drive to download

Medical malpractice drive in danger of dying an early death, Cabinet must send bill to House by month's end by Apiradee Treerutkuarkul


Veteran health activist Preeyanan Lorsermwattana called on the public yesterday to send an open letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra urging her to back legislation on medical malpractice compensation.

The bill has been pending consideration since the last government, and is now awaiting approval by the Yingluck government before it can be forwarded to parliament for debate and voting.

Under Section 153 of the constitution, the bill must be tabled in the Lower House within 60 days of the opening of parliament.

"The bill on medical malpractice compensation now risks being nullified since there are only about three weeks left before the end of the 60-day deadline," said Ms Preeyanan, who leads a network of victims of medical errors.

If the premier does not approve the bill within this period, we will have to go back to square one. We cannot afford to lose.

The health activist and a dozen patients affected by medical mistakes yesterday rallied in the Silom business district and distributed thousands of leaflets to back the network's assertion that the bill is necessary to prevent disputes between patients and doctors about medical errors.

The network said it would continue distributing the leaflets around the city to ensure the public learns about the importance of the bill and join them in encouraging the prime minister to approve it.

Ms Preeyanan said she hoped the government would forward the bill to the House before the parliamentary session ends this month.

Ms Preeyanan has campaigned for the bill on medical malpractice compensation for many years to give patients a new legal mechanism to protect their rights in case of medical errors by doctors, instead of having to sue doctors and hospitals on their own.

She has attended more than 800 meetings since 2006 to make the legislation come to fruition.

The legislation has been controversial with patient groups and doctors having failed to agree on details.

Doctors say the bill must be scrapped and replaced with legislation that takes into account the interests of the medical profession.

Health activists have insisted that the measure go forward, and suggest doctors provide input during House and Senate committee debates on the bill instead.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Medical malpractice drive in danger of dying an early death, Cabinet must send bill to House by month's end, 8/09/2011, Apiradee Treerutkuarkul, link)

Medical Malpractice Vocabulary

medical malpractice -
 when doctors make mistakes, "professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. ... Medical professionals may obtain professional liability insurances to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice." (See Wikipedia)

compensation
- money paid for some loss, harm or damage suffered; money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them เงินชดเชย การจ่า่ยเงินชดเชย

activist
- someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation นักกิจกรรม, ผู้ดำเนินการที่มีความกระตือรือร้น

open letter -
"a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally.
Open letters usually take the form of a letter addressed to an individual but provided to the public through newspapers and other media, such as a letter to the editor or blog. Especially common are critical open letters addressed to political leaders." (See Wikipedia)

distribute - to give something to a group of people แจกจ่าย
distribute leaflets - give large numbers of people leaflets, hand out leaflets

support
- help, by giving money, for example สนับสนุน
urging support - asking people to help them

drive - a planned effort to achieve something การผลักดัน,ความพยายาม
bill - a written document containing a proposal for a new law ญัตติ

legislation
- a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย
back legislation - help a proposed law (bill) become a law

bill  pending consideration - a law that is waiting for parliament to consider and debate about (before voting whether to accept or not)

approval
- giving official permission, saying "yes" to some action or activity การอนุมัต
awaiting approval

pending
- waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
consideration - giving careful thought to something before making a decision

forwarded
- after receiving it, you send it so another person
debate - a discussion or formal argument on an issue between people with different views (See Wikipedia)
forwarded to parliament for debate and voting

bill must be tabled in the Lower House - must be presented for consideration in parliament
nullified -
ended
risks being nullified - risks being ended

deadline - a time or day by which something must be done เส้นตาย
60-day deadline - have 60 days to complete their work

network - a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
victims - people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc.
network of victims of medical errors - a group of people who suffered harm from medical injuries

premier
- prime minister
have to go back to square one - must start again, forced to begin again 
cannot afford to lose - would make their situation very difficult, a big setback

distributed - made available to customers through stores and middlemen
ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน

session - a formal meeting of an institution such as a parliament or a court การประชุม
legal mechanism to protect their rights - a series of legal steps that people can take to protect their rights

rights - something you are legally or morally allowed to do or have (See Wikipedia) สิทธิ์
sue - seek money for damage done to you by another; start a legal case against someone who has harmed to get money from them ฟ้องร้อง

make the legislation come to fruition - make the proposed law (bill, legislation) become a full law

controversial - causing disagreement ที่เป็นที่ขัดแย้ง ความไม่ลงรอยกัน ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง

patient
- someone who is receiving medical treatment คนป่วย, คนไข้
patient groups - organizations that represent patient rights, represent rights of patients, patient advocacy groups

scrapped
- cancelled, ended, discarded, decided not to continue with something, such as a plan or event ยุติแผนที่วางไว้

interests
- how people gain or lose depending on how events turn out
profession - a type of job requiring advanced training and education

medical profession -
the group of all doctors (together with their organizations, rules, etc)
interests of medical profession
interests of patients


measure
- an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
insisted - say firmly that something must happen or is true, and will not change mind
insisted that the measure go forward - say firmly that some action should be taken

provide - to give someone something that they want or need
provide input - give help in the form of ideas, advice, or information, used in a process or in making a decision การสนับสนุน


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