The recent radical change in the relationships between physicians and patients has increased the frequency of malpractice. Consequently, on one hand, many physicians got used to avoiding any possible risk of denunciation by applying the so called "defensive medicine", while on the other hand, the insurance companies raised the prices of their premiums for policies concerning civil responsibility of health operators. In order to avoid this "vicious circle", some health structures created Units for the Risk Management related to malpractice, while others took advantage of the collaboration of Associations for Patients' Rights to create database about the most frequent medical mistakes. The need for a legislative change has been accepted by the Parliament which expects with the proposal n.108 (approved in spring 2002 by the Commission for Hygiene and Health of the Senate) to attribute the civil responsibility of the physicians to the hospitals (both private and public) for which they work, to constitute a Register of experts and to accelerate the legal disputes. The problem is complex and still to be solved, but it seems that time for a strong intervention in order to improve the situation has to come.
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