In cases of faulty treatment or inadequate education, the patient is entitled to compensation. If there is reason to believe that there is a medical condition, the patient should first seek the interview with the attending physician or counseling center, inspect the medical records, and have copies made.
Advice on patient rights
Advice can be found among other things in patient advice centers, consumer centers or self-help groups, but also at the doctors and dentists' chambers or health insurance companies. For example, the expert commission for medical treatment errors at the Medical Council of North Rhine handles about 1, 800 applications a year. Every day, several doctors advise patients on the telephone, record the complaints, listen to the illness and give further recommendations. However, they are not allowed to recommend doctors, merely give advice on other specialists.
If, in fact, treatment errors are suspected, patients can turn to the Advisory Committee for Medical Treatment Failures of the Ärztekammer Nordrhein with a request for a medical-technical assessment. After inspection of the treatment documents and an opinion of the doctor concerned then the treatment is examined.
Who comes up for the treatment error?
For treatment errors comes usually the professional liability insurance of the doctor. In the inpatient hospital, patients may turn to the institution of the hospital or the hospital management. Many hospitals also have special patient advocates - independent shop stewards who can be trusted in case of conflict. Claims for damages can be asserted in court or out of court.
Doctors and Dentists' Chambers such as the North Rhine Council of Physicians have set up review and arbitration boards to clarify the disagreements between doctor and patient out of court. The involvement of the expert commissions and arbitration boards is voluntary and their work is free for patients. They are seizing cases that have not yet been the subject of a judicial process and are no more than five years ago.
The statutory health insurance companies help if you make an application there. The funds help with extrajudicial legal advice and can obtain a medical opinion from the MDK.