What is a Private Hospital?
A private hospital is a hospital which is owned by an organisation or company and is privately funded through the payment of medical services by insurers, the government and patients. The Private Hospitals Association (PHA) is the representative body for the private hospital sector in Ireland. Certain private hospitals are members in this association and play an essential role in the delivery of health services. At present there are 19 member hospitals.
No matter where you are receiving treatment patients should receive the highest standard of care at all times. If this standard fall below what is expected there may be a breach in responsibility which could result in medical negligence*. This can be the case whether this happened in a private or public hospital. Medical negligence can occur for a number of reasons and can lead to further injuries or complications. In most cases, medical professionals are dedicated, diligent and ensure that the treatment you are receiving is to the highest standard. Despite this, in some cases there may have been an error made as a result of negligence. This can occur under many different circumstances and can lead to the patient sustaining personal injuries* as a result.
Some examples of medical negligence include:
- Misdiagnosing a patient
- Errors made during surgery
- Failing to act on symptoms or test results
- Substandard level of care
- A medical practitioner causing injury or loss of quality of life
- Prescription errors
- Anaesthesia errors
- Hospital Neglect
- Negligence relating to GP diagnosis
- Inadequate aftercare of patient
- Hospital-acquired infection
- Defective drug administration
Medical negligence claims* made against a private hospital are very similar to those made against a public organisation, but there are some small differences. In private practices and organisations, a patient may enter into a contract with the healthcare provider directly. As part of this, a certain outcome may be guaranteed so if this is not achieved you may be able to claim for this. In relation to other areas of negligence, the claims process is very similar to that of a public hospital. As private patients enter a direct contract with their healthcare provider often claims are made against the medical practitioner directly and not the organisation or hospital as a whole. It is important to note that in order to make a medical negligence claim there must have been a breach in duty of care which then led to injury, damage or loss.
To proceed with a claim for private hospital negligence* you must first prove that medical or clinical negligence has occurred. In order to do this it must be shown that negligence would not have occurred if the treatment was carried out by another medical practitioner. In many cases, negligence occurs as a result of a breach in duty of care where they have failed to ensure the health and safety of their patients. If it is found that a hospital has failed to show a reasonable level of duty of care and personal injuries* has been sustained as a result, a claim may be made against them for this.
Consequences of Private Hospital Negligence
- Spreading of the illness to other parts of the body
- Deterioration of their medical condition
- The illness may be untreatable
- Illness can become more serious over time
- Further surgery may be required as a result
- A condition may be left untreated if not identified
- Incorrect treatment may be given