A Preliminary Study on Korean Act on Remedies For Injuries from Medical Malpractice and Mediation of Medical Disputes
Recently, a rise in medical disputes in Taiwan has caused many doctors to practice defensive medicine and has even prevented them from being engaged in high-risk medical fields. The circumstances have materially influenced the provision of overall national medical care and accessibility to medical service, and have therefore raised important issues of public health. To resolve medical disputes and improve physician-patient relationships effectively, Ministry of Health and Welfare has made the draft of the Medical Dispute Resolution and Medical Incident Compensation Act, trying to use the designed mechanism of “compulsory mediation” and “liability without fault compensation” to reduce medial disputes. However, due to strong objections from various communities, the draft was in abeyance before the third reading of the draft to be passed by legislators. Compared with the draft developed by the health authority in Taiwan, Korea enacted the law on medical dispute medication mechanisms, which may work 40 Angle Health Law Review as the alternatives to litigations upon a medical dispute, in September 2012 after legislation amendments for 23 years. The aforesaid law of Korea provides many new mechanisms that can be taken for our references. Thus, the paper intends to introduce this Korean Act on remedies for injuries from medical malpractice and mediation of medical disputes. Firstly, this paper will review the development of Korean medical dispute resolutions. Then, we will further analyze the competent authorities, appraisal procedure, mediation and arbitration mechanisms provided in this act. We will also discuss the inspirations learned from this act in hopes of providing suggestions for our country to establish medical dispute resolution mechanisms in the future.