Medical Malpractice in Pakistan Essay Example
Medical Malpractice in Pakistan Essay Example

Medical Malpractice in Pakistan Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2048 words)
  • Published: June 6, 2018
  • Type: Case Study
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When examining medical malpractice in hospitals in Pakistan, it is essential to hold not only doctors accountable but also take into account other factors. These factors include the responsibilities of hospital administration, pharmaceutical companies, and the patient's lack of knowledge. Ultimately, doctors bear responsibility for any instances of malpractice.

In Pakistan, the country's circumstances must be taken into consideration when placing blame for medical negligence. Being a third world country, Pakistan faces resource limitations in enhancing its healthcare system. Furthermore, due to ongoing conflicts and the war on terror, Pakistan is unable to allocate funds from defense towards sectors such as healthcare. In recent times, only 0.7% of GDP has been designated for the health sector (Pakistan – Past, Present and Future). As a result, there exists a significant disparity between the availability and demand for healthcare services due to insufficient government-provided hea


lthcare facilities and an increasing awareness among the population about health concerns.

Efforts have been made by the private sector in Pakistan to enhance healthcare facilities through constructing new hospitals, employing advanced technology, and raising doctor salaries. Despite significant improvements in the nation's health condition, there is a rising apprehension regarding the increasing instances of medical malpractice, particularly in private hospitals. It is imperative to take certain measures to tackle this problem and avoid patient fatalities resulting from negligence and mismanagement of on-site pharmacies.

This essay examines the perilous impact of pharmaceutical companies prioritizing profits over patient well-being. It also addresses how patients in Pakistan contribute to medical malpractice. By presenting sound arguments, the essay contends that medical malpractice is not solely the fault of doctors but rather a result of multiple factors leading to patient

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deaths. Ultimately, the essay advocates for specific measures to reduce the occurrence of medical malpractice. Before delving into hospital administrations' negligence, let us first consider hospitals' responsibilities.

Both private and public hospitals have a responsibility to provide effective medical service to mankind. However, in order for hospitals to achieve this, they require competent administration. If the administration fails to fulfill its duties, there is a risk of medical malpractice occurring. Consequently, hospitals can be held responsible not only for their own negligence but also for the negligence of their employees. Unfortunately, hospitals in Pakistan lack efficient management and fail to thoroughly assess an applicant's education, training, and licensing when hiring medical staff such as licensed physicians, nurses, physician's assistants, and nurse practitioners.

Ensuring a comprehensive background check is essential for hospital staff, encompassing verification of education, criminal record, and medical history. Regrettably, this vital procedure is often neglected, leading to the recruitment of untrained or inappropriate individuals. The consequences of such oversight can prove fatal for patients. This was tragically exemplified in the case of Imanae Malik, a 3-year-old girl who suffered a minor burn on her hand. Instead of receiving proper treatment for her injury, she received an unintended lethal medication injection, resulting in her untimely death (Imanae Malik Killed by Doctors Hospital Lahore, Pakistan). This responsibility not only falls upon the hospital administration but also extends to the hospital's pharmacy.

Even if a pharmacy is operated on a contract basis, it is crucial to have supervision of its products. In Pakistan, the verification of medication prices and expiration dates is unfortunately neglected. This negligence has resulted in an increase in medical malpractice incidents, as exemplified by

the case of Imanae Malik. The pharmacy located at Dr. Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan was discovered to have sold expired drugs, leading to the prohibition of their medicine sales. This incident suggests that both doctors and administration share responsibility for this negligent act.

In Pakistan, healthcare facilities are inadequate for effectively treating patients, especially in public hospitals with high demand for medical care. The shortage of hospital beds prevents accommodating the large number of patients. Although private hospitals offer an alternative, most people in Pakistan cannot afford their services due to living below the poverty line. Consequently, the expensive fees charged by private hospitals push individuals to opt for public or civil hospitals where they face long waiting times and subpar facilities that do not meet international standards.

In public hospitals, there is a scarcity of doctors, resulting in a high patient-to-doctor ratio and inadequate attention given to patients. Insufficient numbers of nurses exacerbate the issue, with many lacking proper training and causing mixing errors. Mixing errors occur when the medical staff, including nurses, mistakenly combines medications intended for different patients. Such errors can have grave consequences, including death. Additionally, Pakistan's hospitals suffer from a lack of proper documentation.

Having proper documentation is essential in order to maintain a record of significant medical information, including the number and dates of doctor visits and different patient reports. Lack of such documentation can lead to errors as it is important to have proper follow-up for effective treatment. In case there is no record of a patient being prescribed a particular medication, it can create difficulties.

The patient is burdened by repeatedly undergoing a treatment that may have harmful side effects.

In Pakistan, both doctors and hospital administration are responsible for monitoring different aspects within the hospital, including medication, nursing care, ward attendants, and documentation. Neglecting to follow international standards in any of these areas can lead to a decline in patients' health. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies also contribute to medical malpractice in Pakistan. This happens when patients take medication with the aim of improving their health but instead experience further deterioration and the development of other medical complications.

While the doctor faces frequent allegations of incorrect medication prescription, it may be unjustified. In Pakistan, pharmaceutical companies often prioritize profits over patient health by manufacturing substandard drugs. According to a report in Dawn news, Pakistan is responsible for 13.3% of global counterfeit drug production, ranking as the third largest producer globally. The World Health Organization has expressed concern about this problem and attributes the shortage of high-quality drugs in Pakistan to the negligence of these companies.

Pharmaceutical companies may put patients' lives at risk by compromising on drug quality to save money, and they also prioritize profit maximization by keeping physicians uninformed about drug side effects. Furthermore, these companies enter into contracts with doctors and hospitals to increase sales, often encouraging the prescription of their own drugs instead of what is most beneficial for patients.

The primary cause of the high occurrence of medical malpractice in Pakistan can be attributed to several factors, one being the unethical practices exhibited by hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that patients also contribute significantly to this problem. Frequently, patients prolong seeking medical assistance and when they eventually do consult a doctor, they tend to dismiss or disregard their recommendations.

Minor discomforts are often overlooked as individuals assume these pains will naturally subside over time. Regrettably, this presumption frequently proves unfounded.

The pain of a disease or serious problem worsens and deteriorates until medical attention is sought, but by then it may be too late for the doctor's intervention to be effective. Even when patients do see the doctor in time, they often fail to fully comply with the prescribed treatment plan. For instance, if the doctor recommends taking medication for five days and scheduling a follow-up appointment, some patients might stop after only three days. Consequently, these patients don't fully recover and experience a more severe recurrence of their condition. Thus, the responsibility ultimately lies with the patient instead of solely relying on the doctor.

According to the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, about 45% of the population in Pakistan is illiterate. This high illiteracy rate contributes to a common occurrence where patients resort to their own treatments for illnesses, leading to medical malpractice. The lack of knowledge and awareness regarding healthcare practices is widespread.

In Pakistan, some people prefer traditional remedies instead of seeking medical attention in hospitals for their illnesses. As a result, they experience delayed medical care and form negative opinions about doctors. However, had these patients sought timely medical advice, the outcome could have been different. Therefore, patient neglect also contributes to medical malpractice in Pakistan.

Over time, the medical profession has undergone changes that have affected its perception. Once seen as noble and dedicated to serving others, doctors are now more focused on the prestige and wealth associated with their profession. This shift in priorities has resulted in insincerity and negligence towards

patients, leading to human errors that can be fatal or cause other illnesses. The lack of care is evident even in their handwriting, which often poses difficulties for patients trying to read prescriptions. Consequently, this becomes a significant issue when these written prescriptions are presented at pharmacies since pharmacists may misinterpret them and dispense incorrect medication.

Reading errors and writing errors both occur in medical practice. Doctors who are negligent sometimes write incorrect prescriptions, resulting in harm to their patients. The lack of attentiveness is apparent as they fail to spend enough time with their patients, leading to many diseases being overlooked. If the doctor had given timely treatment and detected the illness early on, the patient's condition could have been improved. Unfortunately, this is not happening anymore as doctors' attitudes have shifted due to monetary gains and other incentives.

Currently, doctors prioritize their financial gain and enjoy various benefits from travelling the world. This self-interest outweighs their concern for the greater welfare of society, making them accountable for any medical malpractice in Pakistan. Nevertheless, it is essential to acknowledge their humanity. In order to support their families' basic needs, doctors must earn a living. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs emphasizes that survival requires food, clothing, and shelter.

Cherry and Kendra state that doctors are making money to stay afloat in the face of worsening circumstances due to private medical colleges and rising instances of medical malpractice. In a nation where politicians possess counterfeit degrees, it is not unusual for doctors to also hold fake qualifications. The recent apprehension of six physicians, such as Dr. Mubeen Akhter and Dr. Syed Salahuddin, provides proof that there are deceitful doctors practicing

within hospitals.

Arafat argues that the negative perception of the medical profession is due to people wrongly blaming doctors for the loss of their loved ones. In order to reduce incidents of medical malpractice in Pakistan, Arafat suggests that both government and private hospitals should thoroughly investigate a doctor's qualifications and experience before hiring them. Arafat believes that medical malpractice is not solely the fault of doctors, but also the hospital administration and pharmaceutical companies because of the weak judicial system in Pakistan. Due to the lack of trials or consequences for negligence by doctors or hospital staff, there is diminished sense of responsibility leading to more mistakes. Therefore, Arafat asserts that a weak judicial system indirectly contributes to medical malpractice in Pakistan.

The responsibility for medical malpractice in Pakistan cannot be solely attributed to doctors. Instead of immediately faulting doctors, it is crucial to examine if other parties such as hospital administration and pharmaceutical companies also bear some accountability. The emphasis should not be on allocating blame to individuals, but rather on addressing the rising number of patient fatalities resulting from negligence by these aforementioned factors, and taking preventive measures. Although completely eliminating such cases may be unattainable, implementing specific measures can aid in diminishing them. These measures should encompass the establishment of government regulatory bodies that guarantee hospitals employ competent staff and doctors.

The government should allocate more funds to healthcare and establish an independent committee responsible for overseeing the introduction of new drugs. It is crucial to raise awareness among individuals, urging them to consult doctors instead of solely relying on traditional practices. Furthermore, implementing legislation with severe penalties for medical malpractice is essential. These

measures are critical in addressing current concerns and preventing future incidents.

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  1. tag. The citation sources include "page Arafat", "DHQ Hospital MS among Six Arrested", "Dawn", "Cherry, Kendra", "Hierarchy of Needs - Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", and "Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators ; Enthusiasts".

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