Medical Malpractice?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Music_Producer, May 31, 2006.

  1. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    My father in law is a diabetic and a few weeks ago, developed sores on his feet. As a med school graduate (from India) and having done my internship at various hospitals.. I knew this was a serious condition and should be treated immediately. I advised him to see the doctor rightaway.. this was about 4 weeks ago.

    Anyway, it turns out that his doctor didn't even check him and told him "I can make an appointment with you after 3 weeks" What the heck? I was puzzled.. and I asked him to see someone else or atleast try and get the 'doctor' to reschedule the appointment for 2-3 days at the most, not 3 weeks.

    He had to call his insurance, file some paperwork, etc.. and as time went by.. his sores got worse. Finally another doctor saw him and prescribed him some antibiotics. Again, I was a little perturbed as he should have been admitted to the hospital with IV antibiotics.. and not oral antibiotics (IV for faster and more effective action)

    A week ago he showed me his foot.. and his toes were grayish-black.. and I told him to go to the hospital rightaway. They checked him, and said he was to continue his antibiotics course, and that his toes would be allright. Never mind that they were almost black.. indicating obvious necrosis and possible gangrene.. but he was sent home.

    Finally, after 3 days, his toes were black and started smelling like decay.. he went to the hospital again, and this time they admitted him after some reluctance and started an IV line for antibiotics.

    So now its been 3 days in the hospital, and they are STILL deciding on when to perform surgery to amputate his toes. Yep, what could have been cured.. has now lead to amputation.

    I am seriously amazed at how idiotic and ridiculous the medical field is here, in the United States. If this was the case in India, he would have been treated a long time ago. We don't even have medical insurance in India.. the doctors here tell him "If you're lucky, we might operate on you after a week" :mad:

    As a doctor I used to dismiss medical malpractice cases as more of a "Hey I want a hundred million" .. but now I can see why there are so many cases out here. Can this doctor be sued for malpractice? Or the hospital?

    Personally, this whole experience has changed me.. if I ever fell seriously sick, I would rather fly to India and get treated there, than be hospitalized here and just be subject to scheduling and so on. And all this on top of paying a hefty medical insurance bill!! So much for medical care in a "Developed country"
  2. nightdweller25 macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
  3. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    HMOs, man. Yell at the HMOs not the doctors. Managed care is the enemy.

    Tell your story to an medical malpractice attorney. Most will not charge for a consult. If they take the case they will take one third of the settlement. And if you have a case, believe me, they will take it.
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Sad isn't it.

    You would think that we would have a better medical system.
  5. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Yeah, that is sickening about managed care..when I first came to this country in 2001, I was like "WTF? Medical Insurance? Uh.. whats that?" And of course, when I heard about the cost.. :eek:

    Honestly, if you're paying that much, you would expect bloody first class service. I feel terrible for my father in law, he's obviously quit his job, has to file disability benefits and all that crap.. and its just too stressful on his wife and all of us.

    Have any of you ever had a harrowing experience? I mean, as in delayed medication, or delayed treatments?
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yeah, that's malpractice. Sue their ass. Honestly.

    Sometimes I hear of a lawsuit and it smells entirely of "greed." In this case, you dealt with doctors who really did a crap job and should pay the price, just like your father-in-law paid the price of their incompetence.

    Oh, and how exactly do HMO's work? They're like a medical insurance company, no? Don't you pay them medical insurance each month/year, and then get "express" service or something? Is there a cheaper, public system where everyone waits around like cattle, while "private" medical coverage, like HMOs, get quicker treatments and less waiting times?

    I really don't know how medical system works in the US. All I know is that the US spends the most money on healthcare, and get the least back for their money. :rolleyes:
  7. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    HMOs 101 here
  8. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004

    Exactly, thats what I think of most malpractice lawsuits too.. the 'greedy' kinds.. but this was a personal experience that really angered me. I don't know retarded this HMO system here is, but in India its like this:

    The county hospitals provide free medicines and care for low income patients.. the downside is, obviously the hospitals are not that nice looking, the staff are more rude (they work their butts of though, and the interns/residents get paid like $100/month, so yeah.. they get rude.. but they're highly professional and efficient)

    The most I have seen patients wait for admission is maybe 4-5 hours, but they *do* get admitted, they do get a checkup, and a course of action is plotted out on the same day as to treatment, prescriptions, etc. In other words, the patient has a problem.. tackle it rightaway.

    As for private hospitals and clinics, you pay the doctor for their service, there's no medical insurance. An X-ray costs $5, a CT scan costs $150-200.. an MRI anywhere from $200-250.. etc etc. A regular visit/checkup,etc. costs like $5. Oh, and don't picture doctors sitting on bullock carts in villages or anything of that sort.. these are proper doctors with excellent clinics/offices/hospitals.. its just that the price is fair.

    Which reminds me, my tooth was acting up a few months ago, and the pain was unbearable.. the dentist here told me I would need a root canal and a crown.. total cost? More than $1500! :eek: Not that I didn't have the money, but its just "Hey, I can get this done in Bombay for $400 including the damn crown!!" So I refused to have a root canal.. I'll get everything done anyway when I fly back to visit my family.

    And dont even get me started on car insurance :rolleyes:

    And that $1500 went towards my Macbook Pro :D
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    But in all fairness, the economy works way different in these 2 parts of the world you mention. If every x-ray cost only $5 here (where "here" = Western society), we could pretty much all stop and retire, because $10000 would last us forever.

    MRIs cost a lot of money because yearly expenditure on an MRI machine, including getting people to operate, fix, QA, etc, costs around $1 million per year in America, I'm guessing. The machine itself costs a fortune. It costs a fortune in most countries. I don't know how you could offer an MRI for $200, but it must be government subsidized, or the company (Siemens, GE, Varian, and every other company that makes the major medical equipment at hospitals) gave India a cut in cost in order to get them into the country to provide decent healthcare.

    So it's not that the cost in India is "fair," but because the economy and pay scale simply work different over there. I'm glad it worked well in India, because it means that people have similar services and necessities provided for them, regardless of country or salary. So while it may cost a lot to live in London, or Boston, people who live in those cities make more money to compensate for the fact that they pay more for everything.

    But anyway, the US healthcare system is definitely too expensive, so maybe it's not the best thing to compare it to. It's hardly the best. Heck, in an overall sense, it's not even good unless you're rich and are willing to pay anything to be healthy.
  10. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2005
    The poor section of Connecticut
    I am so sorry to hear of your father and his medical nightmare. Yes, I think you have every right to sue, even though I generally detest lawsuits due to the fact that most of them are frivolous, but this is a real case you have. Your father should have been properly treated for his condition. I don't see why it had to get as far as amputating his toes.
    *sends prayers your way*
  11. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    Dangit, Abstract... you bet me to making basically the same point! :D From what I've read the Indian government subsidizes a lot more than the U.S. government in terms of healthcare, which helps explain the cost difference. So with that said, I have to take your cost complaints with a grain of salt.

    First of all, I really am sorry for your father-in-law's situation. What happened to him is absolutely terrible! I hope you have a good case for medical malpractice because even though our healthcare system has its issues, it's no excuse for sloppy behavior. :( I just hope my family and I continue to have good luck with our healthcare service (knock on wood)....

    Now on to the grain of salt... Cost of living and salaries there are significantly less than what you see here in the states (for the most part). It's great if you make a good living here and then fly over there to receive "cheaper" services, but I would be interested to see whether the out of pocket costs for various healthcare services over there for the average Indian citizen is proportionally as significant to their income as it is over here for our insurance + deductibles/co-pays/etc.

    Just as an example, a maid at my uncle-in-law's house in Pune is paid 2000Rupees a month to come and clean the house twice a day. That averages to about $43/month. Based on your previous post, a root canal and crown costs around $400, which equates to about 18,500 Rupees. That's a significant cost if the maid were to have to pay for that service. Now, I'd imagine that salaries of 2000 rupees/month belong to the lower class (perhaps impoverished). Let's assume the average income over there equates to about $30K (~1,400,000 Rupees). The crown and root canal would cost about 1% of the gross income (18,500/1,400,000). It costs about 5% of gross income for someone making $30K in the States (1,500/30,000). While the 4% difference is significant it's not as drastic of an increase in cost as $400 vs $1500 might lead some to believe. (This is all assuming I've done the math right, which wouldn't surprise me if I'd missed something. Obviously, I didn't take into account taxes/net income since I have no idea what that's like over there.) Not to mention that I've seen the inside of an Indian hospital. It has far less electronic gadgets in each of the rooms than in the U.S. hospital rooms. ;) :D

    If you want to spend $3K to fly over to India whenever you need a $400 root canal/crown then more power to you. :D

    Now, with that said, I'm not saying that our healthcare system isn't flawed--we do have some major ones. I grumble everytime I think about the premiums I have to pay each pay period. We've been trying to get healthcare reform for over a decade, and still not much has happened. Costs are going up and service is going down. The majority of the solutions these days seem to involve prescribing the latest and greatest medications rather than taking a more hollistic approach to curing the masses. Not to mention our general health decline because of our sedentary lifestyles. Anyway, I could go on, but you already get the idea....
  12. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    "most" are "frivolous"? and that's a "fact"? i guess it depends how you define those 3 words. i'm curious to know where you are getting your "facts"

    sorry to hear about your father in law's situation, music producer. all the best.
  13. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    ah yes lets just sue the world for all the wrongs that anyone does. If you want something to be done don't make a civil case. First complaign to the board of trustees. Go public with it and if needed get the doctor fined and get his license revoked.

    Or you can go to the insurance company and ask them why their policies are the way they are. Seeing as most of the time that it takes for doctor's offices is for insurance papers to pass and such.
  14. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    why not?
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Before you do anything else, check your father's paperwork from when he was admitted to the hospital. Probably, they had him sign a binding arbitration agreement which retricts his rights to sue where malpractice is suspected. This makes arbitration the first step.

    "Managed care" certainly is a disaster, I should know (I call it "mismanaged care.") But once a person is in the hospital, the insurance company should not be such an active player in deciding which treatment is appropriate.
  16. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004

    First of all, thank you everyone for the concern shown and the kind words, I appreciate that.

    ITs true that people make a lot less money in India, but the point I was trying to make is that medical care there ranges from free to absolutely affordable prices. My $400 included root canal and a precious metal crown.. a crown made with platinum, gold, etc etc.. and that was *my* dentist who practices in an affluent part of town.

    Had I gone to a county hospital dentist, the root canal would have been done for free, and I could have opted for a regular porcelain crown, and that costs $10. So, yes, the maid making $43 a month could have definitely gotten a root canal. :)

    Everybody can afford medical treatment in India, thats the point I was trying to make. Yeah sure, we make a lot more money here.. but to receive substandard medical care.. while you're *paying* for medical insurance in the first place.. is ridiculous.

    Food can be expensive, bottled water :rolleyes: , insurance, blah blah blah.. but medical care (and medicines) should be cheap and affordable. Even if you don't have medical insurance, you should be able to afford medical treatment. I expected that in the United States, and I was just surprised to learn that its not so out here. You hear about people going into bankruptcies because of medical costs.. thats insane. I feel terrible for Americans who aren't receiving any medical help.. or substandard help due to economic reasons.

    Which reminds me, when my wife (she's American) found out at the local pharmacy in Bombay that a bottle of eye drops (soframycin and corticosteroids) cost 25 cents.. and a strip of antibiotics cost 50 cents.. she almost passed out from excitement! :eek:

    Oh and floriflee.. I don't have to pay 3K to fly to India every year, I get 2 business class tickets .. absolutely free, and you bet I make good use of them :D
  17. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Will that reimburse my father in law's salary? And you really think the insurance companies are going to give me an answer when they couldn't give him one? I'm not at all for sueing anyone .. people sue for the stupidest of reasons, but this is different.

    I'm not sure about you, but if I were to lose my foot due to negligence I'd be pretty pissed off, and would do something about it.
  18. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    The U.S. has one of the worst, if not the absolute worst health care system in all of the first nation countries. The WHO and UN both published reports every several years investigating the quality of life in various aspects such as employment, education, quality of environment, health and health care... The US has consistently lagged behind Japan, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, UK, etc... But hey, look at the military industrial complex!! No one has a longer wang....
  19. Boggle macrumors 6502


    That's really horrible, Music. I'm so sorry. I completely empathize, something similar happend to my mother. IJ is correct, you should definately check the paperwork. I would advise you seek the help of a friend when picking legal counsel. It can really help to have somebody you can trust (but who isn't going through your pain) be with you when making legal decisions. I wish your father and you all the best.

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