Amendment of Article 82 of the Medical Care Act from Employed Doctors’ Perspective: Seeking the Roles and Responsibilities of Medical Facilities in Medical Disputes
Along with the awakening of patients’ rights, medical disputes become potential risks that doctors must face. Although most medical disputes would not proceed to trial, the accompanied work stresses, emotional frustrations, time costs, reputational damages and financial risks are too heavy to bear for individual doctors. Thus, the potential risks of medical disputes alone could already frighten individual doctors, leading to job dissatisfaction and deterioration of doctor-patient relationship. The purpose of Amendment of Article 82 of Medical Care Act is to try to respond to these doctors’ innermost fear by clarification of responsibilities. Although medical care has entered a capital-intensive and specialized era, and most doctors have already become employees of huge medical facilities, medical disputes issues are often reduced to conflicts between doctors and patients, leaving the roles and responsibilities of medical facilities seldom mentioned. This article considers doctors’ innermost fear of medical disputes as an important work stressor in the context of workplace mental health, and discusses its damage to mental health of employed doctors. In addition, referring to existing literatures and the practical experience of National Taiwan University Hospital, we also examine what medical facilities could and should provide in order to protect their employed doctors from work stress followed by medical disputes.