Report Conference Victims of Medical Errors, April 23 2008 Utrecht Netherlands.
April 23rd 2008 the medical field organised the first national conference for victims of medical errors. The Dutch Association of Hospitals, (NVZ) representing 100 hospitals, the Association of Medical Consultants, (OvMS) representing 16.000 physicians and the Association of Nurses and Caregivers (VenVN), representing 200.000 nurses and caregivers were present as well as consumers, patients and victims organisations.
The conference was organised as a result of strong pressure by SIN-NL and the IEU-Alliance. This was acknowledged by all present.
These are the results of the conference:
The Chair of the meeting Ms Marian Kaljouw Ph.D. Chair of the Nurses expressed her deep shame about the fact that the medical field so far does not or almost does not give care to victims of medical errors. The NVZ and the OvMS did not contradict this statement and were silent.
We compliment Marian Kaljouw with her honest and courageous statement.
The entire meeting was and acknowledgment of the horrible situation of victims of medical errors and their relatives.
The consumers, patients and victims organisations proposed the following:
-the immediate release of honest information
-the immediate arrangment of adequate remedial medical care to limit the damage.
Both represent the essence of the legal provision Tell and Repair of SIN-NL/IEU-Alliance.
-the immediate release of the medical records to the victims and their relatives
-SIN-NL/IEU-Alliance proposed to give a copy immediately after each consultation to the patient in order to enable them to approve the contents. Thus incomplete or incorrect records can be prevented, as mentioned in the NIVEL report of 2007.
-to oblige physicians, nurses and hospitals to learn from their errors.
-the Council of the Disabled and Chronically Ill made a remarkable proposal to install instantaniously a high fine on the refusal of honest information and remedial medical care. They also pleaded for a more active and efficient attitude of the Inspectorate of Healthcare. We certainly do agree with both proposals.
-the Consumersfederation pleaded for more transparency and publishing of medical errors, including those who are sent to the Inspectorate of Healthcare. We support this.
It was acknowledged that medical assistance to the present victims of medical errors has to be organised short term and that one should not wait for guidelines or laws.
We do regret that the medical field so far refrained from formulating their reaction to our legal provision Tell and Repair which has been signed by the Inspectorate of Healthcare and which has been approved by the lawyer J.Legemaate of the Dutch Association of Physicians and will be dealt with by the Ministry of Healthcare in the preparation of the new law Client and Quality of Care.
We emphasized that the rendering of honest information and remedial medical care is part of the regular and legal obligations of physicians and nurses. Therefor the use of the word aftercare was abandoned.
Within four weeks another meeting will be organised to develop a practical plan to improve the situation of the present and future victims of medical errors and their relatives. SIN-NL and the IEU-alliance were represented by Peter van den Berk and Sophie Hankes, and two members of staff.