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medical negligence laws in dubai

medical negligence laws in Dubai

When a doctor or other medical practitioner does something that harms the patient, it is called medical malpractice. For hospital negligence claims, you need legal malpractice lawyers in Dubai or a medical malpractice attorney in the UAE to support your claim in court. You also need to demonstrate that the doctor’s negligence was the cause of the harm. This is known as “causation,” which means that the doctor’s error caused your damage or harm to occur.

As of 16 December 2008, the Medical Liability Law outlines the legal requirements that healthcare professionals in the United Arab Emirates must abide by. All medical facilities in the UAE are required to have medical malpractice insurance in accordance with the Medical Liability Law. The Medical Law and the corresponding Regulations give rise to a number of legal issues, such as liabilities for medical errors, doctor responsibilities, the requirement to purchase medical malpractice insurance, the investigation of medical malpractice, the disciplinary process, and the penalties for violating the Medical Law and its Regulations.

Importance of Medical Negligence Law in Dubai

Medical negligence is any action or inaction (failure to act) by a medical professional that differs from the established medical standard of care. According to the Medical Liability Federal Law No. 4 of 2016 (the “2016 Law”), a medical professional must exercise reasonable caution and make sincere attempts to follow accepted medical standards. Medical malpractice is defined as failing to follow this, not paying attention to the medical procedure.

According to the Federal Law of 2016, “Gross Medical Error” must have happened in order to establish criminal medical negligence. In that law, the term “Gross Medical Error” has not previously been clearly defined. Later in 2019, the UAE issued Cabinet Resolution No. 40, which resolved various ambiguities in the statute and defined the term “Gross Medical Error.”

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What does the term “Gross Medical Error” mean?

A gross medical error is described in Article 5 of the Executive Regulations and may include:

a mistake that results in the patient’s or fetus’s death, the unintentional removal of an organ, the doctor being under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, the loss of an organ function, and severe negligence, such as administering an overdose or leaving medical supplies within the patient.

What legal actions may a victim take in the United Arab Emirates to pursue medical malpractice cases?

You can easily get assistance from a medical malpractice attorney in Dubai throughout the procedure. In these kinds of situations, a victim must take three measures. He can first file a complaint with the healthcare authority. The Committee of Medical Liability, which is referred to in the Medical Liability Law, should then receive the complaints from the health authority and submit a justification report for each case. He can then file a criminal complaint against the doctor or clinic after first going to a civil court to seek compensation for the harm or damages he suffered.

What factors can be considered when applying for compensation?

A victim or his legal heir (if the victim is deceased) may seek compensation for a variety of reasons, including emotional distress, lost wages, psychological suffering, medical costs, loss of love, and more.

Can medical malpractice be compensated with “Diya” (blood) money?

A practitioner may be held liable for damages in addition to Diya money if his negligence results in death. The Diya money in the UAE is currently fixed at Dh200,000. According to Article 34 of the Law, physicians who cause a patient to pass away as a result of medical mistakes or negligence may be subject to a sentence of up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to Dh500,000. If the gross medical error was caused by drug or alcohol use, the sentence may increase to a maximum of two years in prison and a maximum fine of Dh1,000,000.

History of Medical Negligence Law in the UAE

Federal Law Number 10 of 2008, which was later replaced in 2016 by the New Medical Negligence Law, set the rules for medical malpractice in the United Arab Emirates. The Medical Liability Act, which was enacted on 16 December 2008 and mandates that organizations providing healthcare services enter into insurance contracts for treatment errors, recognizes the doctor-patient connection. According to the Medical Liability Act, a doctor is generally responsible for any medical errors they make if they deviate from what a qualified doctor would have done in the same situation. In the UAE, claims are considered torts and call for damages as payment. The former law was later repealed by the New Law on Medical Negligence, Federal Law No. 4 of 2016.

Medical negligence dispute resolution mechanism in Dubai

As part of the legal framework for deciding cases of medical negligence in the UAE, the Law specifies the creation of a Medical Liability Committee (the Committee) and a Higher Committee for Medical Liability (the Higher Committee). The Committee, which would be made up of medical specialists from all specialties, would examine instances that were referred to it by the appropriate court, public prosecutor, or health authority. They are primarily responsible for reviewing these instances, determining if a healthcare professional was negligent, the extent of that negligence, and the gravity of that negligence. Therefore, before patients can bring any lawsuit for damages and/or injuries resulting from such negligence, all medical negligence matters in the UAE must first be evaluated by the Committee.

Steps and stages of filing a medical negligence lawsuit in Dubai

Stage 1

Authority/ Department: health authority

The appropriate agency within the health authorities of that Emirate should receive a complaint. For instance, if Dubai is the location of the dispute, a complaint should be made there to the Dubai Health Authority (the DHA).

Stage 2

Authority/ Department: the Committee

The Committee would receive a referral from the health authority for its evaluation and consideration. The Committee may also select specialists to investigate the situation and, if necessary, produce an expert report. After carefully reviewing the facts, the patient file, and the other information available, conducting their investigation, and carrying out the necessary technical studies, they shall submit a comprehensive report with their review and opinion of the case. The health authority would then get this report.

Stage 3 “optional”

Authority/ Department: health authority

The parties to the case have thirty (30) days from being notified of the report to file an appeal (grievance) to the health authority in order to contest the report produced by the Committee.

Stage 4 “optional”

Authority/ Department: the Higher Committee

The health authority will then refer the case to the Higher Committee if such an appeal or grievance has been made by either side. Following assessment of the complaints made against the Committee’s report, the Higher Committee will publish a report. The Higher Committee’s report is regarded as conclusive and cannot be contested.

Stage 5

Authority/ Department: court of competent jurisdiction

A claimant may file a lawsuit for compensation due to damages or injury and, in the event that the Committee or the Higher Committee issues a favorable report (and no grievance or appeal was made), bring the case to the appropriate court.

FAQ about medical negligence laws in Dubai

1-What are the 4 types of negligence in healthcare?

Any medical negligence claim must show the existence of four distinct factors in order to succeed. The “4 Ds” of medical negligence are responsibility, divergence from the standard of care, damages, and direct cause. These four components make up the term “medical negligence.”

2-How long does it take for a medical negligence claim to settle?

The time it takes to resolve a medical malpractice claim can vary greatly, but straightforward situations in which liability is acknowledged can usually be resolved in about a year. Larger, more complicated, and expensive cases may require more time to resolve.

3-What is the punishment for medical negligence?

According to Article 34 of the law, doctors who make medical mistakes that cause a patient to pass away are subject to up to two years in prison and/or fines of up to 500,000 AED (136,105 US dollars).

The legal consultancy firm Khairallah can be consulted in order to clarify medical negligence laws in Dubai and to appoint best medical negligence solicitors Dubai, in order to help you take all legal procedures