A Case Of Misjudgment Or Plain Oversight?

Medical horror stories involving surgeries have dotted the landscape across the world. In some pretty astonishing cases, the negligent acts of doctors performing surgery have caused much pain and suffering, and even deaths, to their patients.

In one such case (in the United Kingdom), the patient and her baby passed on after a surgical team removed the wrong organ from the mother.

Negligence As A Tort

Negligence as a tort requires more than mere lack of care. A claimant who wishes to sue in negligence must show:
  • that the defendant owed him a legal duty to take care;
  • that there was a breach of this legal duty by the defendant; and
  • that the breach caused him recoverable damage.

Act Before The Time To Act Runs Out

The biggest mistake a patient can make is waiting too long to file a claim. Time limits require patients to file legal claims promptly. These time limits are set forth by the Singapore Medical Council.


Determine The Parties At Fault

This is a crucial determination. Just because medical negligence has occurred at a hospital or clinic, it does not necessarily follow that the facility can be held responsible. If your case is based on sub-standard care provided by an individual doctor, and that doctor is an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee of the hospital), you need to pursue a direct action against the doctor personally.

A case against the hospital will only be available if the doctor was an employee of the hospital or if the doctor’s incompetence should have been obvious to the hospital. To find out who to commence an action against, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Obtain Medical Records

A hospital must keep every patient’s medical records for at least 7 years after treatment. Upon request, the hospital must give copies of the records to the patient (however, the hospital may charge a fee for copying expenses).


Comply With any Procedural Rules

Patients will have to overcome several legal hurdles before the actual filing of a lawsuit. A patient might have to file an affidavit in which a qualified medical expert attests that the plaintiff has a valid case. A patient might also have to submit a claim to a medical review board before filing in court, or agree to some form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

We advise you to speak with our team to find out more details.


As Singapore’s largest community law firm, HOH Law Corporation brings legal services to the masses and the ordinary man on the street. With island-wide offices and a team of committed legal professionals, our mission is to deliver affordable and quality legal services by dedicating our legal experiences and extensive resources to achieving the best outcome for every client.