A range of healthcare issues prompts patients to seek treatment overseas, driven by factors such as cost, accessibility, availability, and convenience. Likewise, patients may come to the UK for similar reasons or while on vacation, seeking dental care from you.
As we know things can go wrong and if you have provided treatment which resulted in an adverse outcome, the patient may file a clinical negligence claim against you. Conversely, a patient may approach you for remedial treatment after a treatment provided overseas failing to achieve the desired result.
Knowing the necessary steps to take when you are faced with an issue is crucial.
- Seek Advice
Initially, it is crucial to seek guidance from your dental indemnity provider. Claims can be an intricate and stressful matter, and introducing another layer of jurisdiction can further complicate the process. All Med Pro are here to help.
- Jurisdiction in the UK
A Court with jurisdiction over a claim has the legal authority to hear it. The United Kingdom comprises three distinct legal jurisdictions, namely England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
If the Claimant intends to initiate a claim in England or Wales, the Civil Procedure Rules will apply. If the Defendant is physically present within England or Wales, whether as a resident, worker, or temporary visitor and is duly served with the claim, the Courts have the jurisdiction to hear the case. However, if the Defendant is situated outside England and Wales, the Claimant must obtain permission from the Court to issue the claim. To achieve this, the Claimant must demonstrate that.
- The claim falls within one of the ‘jurisdictional gateways’
- The claim has a reasonable prospect of success; and
- England or Wales is the proper place to bring the claim.
- Be wary of fixing negligent care
Practitioners should exercise caution when presented with a patient who has received inadequate treatment overseas and is now seeking remedial care in England or Wales.
While it is the practitioner’s duty to address acute issues like pain or infection, it is important to consider whether complete remedial care is feasible or if only symptom management is possible. For example, in the case of a failed dental implant, it may only be appropriate to remove the implant without replacement.
Additionally, the question of responsibility arises if the remedial treatment subsequently proves unsuccessful.
In summary, the Courts of England and Wales possess broad jurisdictional powers, allowing them to preside over most cases, including those arising from treatments provided overseas. As jurisdictional matters can be complex, it is advisable to seek legal guidance to navigate any claims that come your way.
Why All Med Pro?
Here at All Med Pro, we have access to Dento-Legal experts who will be able to assist you on complicated claims should it be required. They can offer comprehensive support to help you deal with claims with jurisdiction issues.
Looking for support? Give us a call at 0203 757 6950 or drop us an email via [email protected]. Alternatively, book a FREE consultation call with an expert member of our team All Med Pro (office365.com).
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