How Does Medical Malpractice Work Around the Globe?

When people seek medical treatment, they expect a high level of care and for healthcare professionals to use their expertise to improve the situation. While this is usually what happens when people seek care, it is not always what happens and medical negligence is common around the globe. Read on to learn more about medical negligence and its prevalence around the world.

The US

The US is known for not having a universal healthcare system, but it is also somewhere that medical negligence is fairly common. In fact, a malpractice survey found that over half of physicians in the US had been included in a lawsuit with almost half of those sued being involved in multiple lawsuits. Of course, the US is known for being a litigious place, which means that these cases are likely to be more common.

The UK

In the UK, medical malpractice is less common but does occur usually in the NHS. The NHS has been put under great strain in recent times (particularly during COVID-19), which increases the chances of medical negligence of occurring. Payouts can vary from around £1,000 through to amounts northwards of £1 million with the annual payout usually being around £2.3 billion.


While malpractice cases result in a lawsuit in the US and in the UK, you will find that they are treated as a criminal offence in China. A malpractice event that results in injury or death is subject to imprisonment (a maximum of 3 years).


Canada’s process for handling medical negligence claims are similar to the US but differ slightly due to the federal healthcare system. In Canada, cases go through the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) which provides healthcare professionals with access to a state-funded legal defence fund.


Australia has an interesting approach to medical negligence claims in that no fees are paid until a settlement has been made, which means that cases are heard in length without plaintiffs running out of money. Additionally, there is a no-win, no pay law meaning that lawyers on the losing end of the lawsuit do not receive payment. This means that lawyers will use greater scrutiny when getting involved with these cases.

It is interesting to see how medical negligence claims are handled in places around the world. People expect the highest level of care and treatment when it comes to healthcare, but this does not always happen for one reason or another and it is important to take action in these situations.

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