Healthcare costs have been on an exponential rise in recent decades. Often cited as a method to curtail such costs are propositions to limit patients’ rights when they have been hurt by the negligence of medical professionals. While many studies have proven that the right of recourse through the courts does not lend to the out of control increase in healthcare costs, many have overlooked the simple fact that unchecked medical negligence actually contributes to the rise in costs and wasteful inefficiency. One solution: make hospitals hold negligent physicians accountable. Jeremy Kohler and Blythe Bernhard of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report:
When a man died nine years ago at St. Anthony’s Medical Center [located in St. Louis County, Missouri], a panel of doctors there said he had received substandard care from his psychiatrist, Dr. Surendra Chaganti.
While not blaming Chaganti for the man’s death, the panel said Chaganti prescribed drugs that could have been harmful and failed to send the man to the emergency room after noting he had been given another patient’s medicine.
The panel also criticized Chaganti’s treatment of other patients, according to a complaint filed last month by a state board that regulates doctors. Those patients included a 9-year-old boy who spent 10 days at the hospital without being seen by Chaganti, and an elderly dementia patient who had been prescribed a drug that could be toxic for a man in his condition.
The panel of doctors then went on to strike an agreement with Chaganti to continue to allow him to practice medicine with an unblemished record while revoking his hospital privileges. This sleight of hand endangers our society, as this physician with a troubled track record was allowed to continue his errors without proper checks and balances.
At Perenich The Law Firm, we understand that we, as citizens and patients in this country and Tampa Bay area, deserve a certain level of respect and responsibility from those in whom we place our trust and care. When this trust is violated by those on which we rely because of negligence and malpractice, we, as trusted personal injury lawyers, have a responsibility to ourselves, our family and our community here in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and the Greater Tampa Bay Area to enforce accountability and create a safer and more economically responsible society.