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Russian doctors will often go to prison because of medical errors

Medicine, Prison, Russia

In 2018, the investigative bodies of the Investigation Committee (IC) of the Russian Federation opened more than 2.2 thousand criminal cases related to medical errors.
This is about 24% more than in 2017, when about 1.8 thousand criminal cases were initiated. According to the RF IC, approximately every tenth case filed against doctors reaches the court.

In 2018, the number of complaints against doctors increased to 6.6 thousand (9.5% more than the same indicator in 2017). Over the past six years, the number of complaints has increased threefold, and the number of criminal cases has increased about seven times (in 2012, 311 criminal cases were initiated).

After analyzing the materials of 143 criminal cases that were in production in 2016-2017, the investigators concluded that the majority of such crimes are committed by surgeons (27%), obstetricians-gynecologists (17%) and anesthesiologists and intensive care specialists (13%). More than half of them (58%) are men.

“The majority of medical defects are allowed in urban medical institutions (73%), less often in those located in rural areas (27%), of which 94% belong to state-financed institutions, the rest are commercial,” the IC noted.

The results of this study were sent to the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova, as well as to regional health ministries and health departments. The fact of the existence of such a document was confirmed in the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Based on the findings of employees of the RF IC, Vademecum together with the professional network “Doctors of the Russian Federation” are currently conducting a survey, which will last until April 5.

Currently, the RF IC and the National Medical Chamber are working on a bill that supplements the Criminal Code with articles on medical errors.

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