Australia has previously held a reputation for providing a very high standard of medical treatment. Over the recent years however it has become clear that there are major problems with our health system – in particular the fall in the standard of treatment provided.

Consequently, the number of claims for medical negligence has increased. The claims range from mismanagement of a condition (including labour and the birth of a child), failing to diagnose and treat conditions in a timely manner, surgery undertaken when not required, surgery performed negligently and failing to properly care for a patient after surgery.

People are often reluctant to sue a doctor or treatment provider for medical negligence because they aren’t aware they have the right to or they are worried about the consequences of it. Many people think that the “bad outcome” from medical treatment they have is due to the original condition that they saw the doctor for or it is a “complication” of the treatment received. This is not always the case.

If you have been injured due to negligent medical care, you need to obtain legal advice as the consequences of medical negligence are extensive and life changing.

If you are a victim of medical negligence, you will not know where to turn. In the immediate aftermath, you will be angry. You want the doctor to be reprimanded for breaching the trust you relied upon, you don’t want them to do this to anyone else either. However, as time goes on, you will realise that there is a long road of recovery ahead of you. You will need rehabilitation and ongoing financial support to pay for all the significant ongoing medical costs.

As a victim of medical negligence, you do have the right to make a complaint directly to the treatment provider or hospital that caused the injury. You can also lodge a complaint with the Health Quality and Complaints Commission. This is a body set up by the State Government to investigate complaints made against medical practitioners and hospitals in Queensland.

However, as there is no guarantee that making such complaints to them will actually result in an award of compensation for your injuries. You do need to obtain legal advice about lodging claim for the medical negligence.