Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Winnipeg health officials to admit mistakes and apologize

Having been an active medical patient on a rather regular basis over the past several years, I was amazed to read a recent report that said that Winnipeg health officials, in what is billed as the first of its kind in Canada, have been instructed to acknowledge mistakes openly, tell injured patients they are sorry and have the authority pay for its errors when appropriate.  These apologizes cannot be used in court, but apparently this abandoning of the medical community's age-old tendency to shut up and refuse to admit fault when blunders occur, is a growing trend in both Canada and the US and proving to very successful.  In the States, hospitals that are doing this have actually reporting a decline in malpractice suits.

It just goes to show that if you treat people decently, they tend to reciprocate similarly.  Of course, there are exceptions, but I really think that what makes people angry about the medical profession is the perception that it is growing more and more impersonal and that people need to fight for decent care.  Maybe this is a step in the right direction.

You can read the full article here.

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