Medical Malpractice - Prevention, Insurance and Coverage Options



Policy Issues in Insurance n°11

Confidence in a country’s health care system requires indemnification and deterrence systems that adequately cover liability, provide fair compensation for injury, and deter medical malpractices.  Over the last years, in many OECD countries, these systems have experienced difficulties resulting in high-risk specialty physicians and surgeons leaving the practice and the development of expensive and useless—if not risky—defensive medicine.  This publication surveys and assesses various types of mechanisms and reforms that best limit and indemnify medical accidents. Reasons for difficulties faced by some compensation and prevention regimes, given the specificities of national circumstances and in particular of health care systems, are examined. The study offers a series of unique and focused policy options for establishing more efficient indemnification and deterrence systems to cope with medical accidents.


Table of Contents

  • Introduction: A Supply "Crisis" in Some Countries
  • Chapter 1 - Coping with Medical Malpractice in OECD Countries
    • Differences in the System of Compensation for Medical Malpractice in OECD Countries
    • All Systems are Experiencing Difficulties at Various Degrees
    • Worrying Effects
  • Chapter 2 - Driving Factors
    • Expanding Risk: Evidence of Medical Error?
    • Escalating Damages Resulting from Both Increased Frequency and Severity of Claims
    • Insurability Concerns
  • Chapter 3 - No One-Fold Solution
    • Enhancing Risk Insurability
    • Seeking Alternatives to Enhance Capacity Supply through Market Solutions
    • Complementary or Stand-Alone Market/Policy Options
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4 - Suggested Policy Options
    • Remaining in the Framework of a Litigation System Combined with Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage
    • Opting for a Comprehensive No-Fault System
    • Enhancing Medical Risk Management
  • Selected References
  • Annex A - Comparative Tables on the Coverage and Compensation of Medical Malpractice in OECD Countries

How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of this publication by choosing from the following options:


Related Documents