Rise in investigations against doctors

News 5 September, 2017
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    The College of physicians believes that there are more investigations against doctors in part because patients are better informed and have more audacity than before.

    Héloïse Archambault

    Tuesday, 5 September 2017, 06:30

    Tuesday, 5 September 2017, 06:30

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    Over 1100 investigations were initiated in ethics against doctors last year, an increase of 12 % in the last year only.

    “There is not a serious disease, which runs in Quebec, reacts to enter the game the president of the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ), Dr. Charles Bernard.

    “People are more informed, the journalists reported the case. […] There are more educated people. It takes boldness to complain, people have it more than before. “

    In total, not less than 1114 investigations were opened by the College of physicians in 2016-2017, says the annual report.

    These surveys are the result of denunciations of all kinds (sexual misconduct, lack of follow-up, wrong diagnosis).

    More doctors

    Note that the number of requests for investigations is much more imposing, 2566, but they are not all based.

    Since 2008, the number of investigations has increased by 62 % (see table). According to the College, several factors explain this increase, including the increase in the number of physicians in practice.

    Also, the population was more aware of the importance of reporting problematic situations.

    “When talking to patients, they are very satisfied with their physician on an individual basis,” says Dr. Bernard.

    “You’re wearing much attention to extreme cases, but in general, the vast majority of doctors do their job well “, he adds.

    According to the Council of the protection of the sick, the CMQ is expected to draw more conclusions from the many complaints, to improve the training of doctors.

    “Sometimes, it’s so long and complicated before the complaints are a result. It is not necessary to wait 10 years before doing a new training which could improve the things that the doctors are wrong “, according to the president, Paul Brunet.

    “Zero tolerance “

    By the way, only 50 surveys have been brought before the discipline Council in 2016-2017, or 4 %. Very often, the problem was unfounded or did not require a complaint in ethics.

    In this regard, the College ensures that its efforts and resources in place when needed.

    “If a case deserves to be brought up in discipline, it is zero tolerance,” said Dr. Bernard. Someone who abuses a patient, be certain that he will go to discipline. “

    “The ultimate goal is that [the doctor] is not dangerous for you and me. I want that the doctors are good, ” he says.

    Among the issues emerging, the College pays attention to doctors who sell medicine (systems of patronage dividends).

    Last year, the investigations directorate had a budget of approximately $9 million.

    Investigations by year

    • 2016-2017 : 1114
    • 2015-2016 : 991
    • 2014-2015 : 932
    • 2013-2014 : 847
    • 2012-2013 : 818
    • 2011-2012 : 845
    • 2010-2011 : 757
    • 2009-2010 : 743
    • 2008-2009 : 688
    • Total : +62 %

    Source : College of physicians of Quebec