Why Medical Negligence Cases are lower in Scotland than other Countries

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As like many countries Scotland is seeing a massive increase when it comes to medical negligence. It is fair to say that Scotland is a particularly difficult country to claim medical negligence compensation in. Many medical compensation cases in Scotland against Health Trusts, doctors and hospitals fail as there is no clear independent body which can be give structive criticism and objectively examine any case of medical negligence. As much as 200 medical negligence claims against the medical environment in Scotland have been claimed with only a poor one in five cases been concluded or settled.

Genn and Paterson Study 2001

Many medical negligence claimants find it difficult to say the least finding funding to take any claim to court or are discouraged by barriers in accessing resources, support and information. It is fair to say that the number of medical negligence compensation events is pretty high in the UK as well as other countries but proportion of this type of claim in Scotland remains very low. Studies such as the Genn and Paterson study (2001) have shown that people in Scotland are less likely to pursue a claim of compensation for medical negligence and are more likely to look for self help remedies rather than new addition medical ones. It has been studied and suggested by varies studies that Scottish people did not feel the need to pursue such a claim especially if the injury was minor. The study suggests that people in Scotland are less likely to report a justiciable problem rather than there actually being fewer incidents.

Pleasence et al 2003

These particular theorists argues that the actual nature of pursuing a claim in Scotland is less likely to be the problem it is more to do with social and demographic differences. They feel that due to Scotland having a lower dense population with more people being on benefits and in rented accommodation has a huge impact on them actually reporting rates of any incidents medical negligence or others including personal injury. They suggest that in fact Scottish people are more likely to experience problems but due to social factors are less likely to report any such incidents.

Other thinking would suggest that some Scottish people are reluctant to identify id there has been an actual claim or even as far as recognising poor quality of care. Some find it easy to accept that the problem could not have been avoided and therefore needs no further action (Genn 1999). Many people regardless of which country they are from are clueless to an actual negligent act happening and it may have been covered up or not actually discussed atall.


Funding medical negligence claims seems to be the biggest barrier of all. Those who are lucky enough, for want over a better word receive Legal Aid but only if the case is 100 per cent secure and have damages exceeding over 10 000 as many minor cases do not even get the chance to be brought to court they often fall at the first hurdle as many victims are asked to fund initial documentation needed but do not have the resources. Some pursers have legal protection and few can fund them privately