As a medical professional, you dedicate your career to caring for people when they need it most. You always do your best to ensure patients get the best outcomes and leave care as healthy as possible. Sometimes, however, human error or external factors beyond your control mean that patients fall victim to less-than-desirable outcomes. In these cases, it’s important that you guard yourself against potential litigation by getting insurance that protects you against professional indemnity and broadform liability.

Sometimes, for reasons beyond your control, your patients may fall victim to less-than-desirable outcomes.

NSW litigation case shows legal threat for hospital staff

The Daily Telegraph recently reported an incident that exemplifies the risks nurses and other medical professionals face on a daily basis. Sixty-seven year old Sydney man Joe Tomajek went into a public hospital for routine prostate procedure and was left in a 10 day coma due to an infection in his hip.

“As a result of the infection they had to take my hip joint out, and now I can’t walk without a crutch,” said Mr Tomajek to The Daily Telegraph. “The infection also hammered my kidneys and so now I am on dialysis. I also take about 10 painkillers every day.”

The complication was caused by a cannula in his arm, which was left in too long by hospital staff instead of being changed every two days. While Mr Tomajek sued and received compensation, he claims that the nurses were not totally to blame.

“The hospital workers are great but they are hamstrung. There needs to be more resources in public hospitals,” he said.”Some of the medical equipment they have is falling apart.”

Patients can sustain further injury when receiving life-saving treatment.
Patients can sustain further injury when receiving life-saving treatment.

Insuring against professional risk

Although the incident is obviously distressing for Mr Tomajek, it’s also a big concern for nurses, who may fear being held liable for personal injury connected to their work. Even if you follow all the right procedures, things may not always go as planned. Perhaps a patient has a bad reaction to a treatment, or sustains further injury when receiving resuscitation. Cases such as these have the potential to turn into disputes, claims or even litigation, which is why insurance is a must for individual nurses and nursing agencies alike.

With policies covering a range of liabilities including breach of duty, bodily injury, properly damage and infringement, an insurance product from a specialist broker ensure you’re covered in every aspect of your profession.

While you care for your patients, it’s important that you have someone to look out for your interests as well, so get in touch with MGA Insurance Brokers.