In June, 2006, an independent national institution known as Conamed was created by presidential decree whose responsibilities include arbitrating medical malpractice claims in Mexico. The staff and reviewers at Conamed are paid by the government. Conamed offers advice and information on patient rights and medical providers’ obligations and receives, investigates, and oversees medical malpractice claims. If Conamed finds the medical provider responsible, the medical provider is required to pay damages. The judicial system relies on Conamed for expert opinions and Conamed can act as a referee, pronounce verdicts , or provide medical opinions requested by judges.
It must be stressed that Conamed handles not only claims based on medical malpractice but also other, unrelated conflicts between medical providers and patients such as obtaining medical tests on a timely basis and other potential medical irregularities not based on claims of malpractice.
In order for conciliation or arbitration services to be provided by Conamed, all participants must agree to the services, the claim must remain outside of the judicial process, and the purpose of the proceeding must not be to punish the medical provider. The medical malpractice claimant may withdraw from the process at any time and the procedure is confidential and is intended to be impartial.
When a claim is filed with Conamed, it is initially evaluated to determine if it is a medical malpractice claim or a claim based on a non-malpractice conflict such as refusal of medical care that may be resolved by specialized advice and intervention. If the claim is determined to be a claim of medical malpractice, then the opinion of the alleged negligent medical provider and other medical information are analyzed and the participants are then involved in the conciliatory stage. If conciliation is effective, an agreement is formalized. If not, the next stage is arbitration if the parties agree in writing to arbitration, after which the claim cannot be brought in a judicial proceeding.
Physicians and lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice arbitration, who may consult with relevant medical specialists, evaluate the medical malpractice claim. Conamed maintains a list of qualified independent academic-based medical experts in the relevant medical field to help with the analysis of the claim. If medical malpractice is found, monetary damages are awarded.
Between 2001 and 2003, 14,968 cases involving medical care were submitted to Conamed (many of the conflicts did not involve allegations of medical malpractice). 73% of the conflicts were resolved within two days by a specialized consultant who contacted the medical care provider involved with the issue. 27% of the conflicts resulted in conciliation and/or arbitration. 51% of all admitted cases were resolved by conciliation and 2% by arbitration. 47% were not reconciled. 14% had removed themselves from the process. 33% probably ended up in court.
Of the 2,118 conflicts resolved by conciliation or arbitration, 1,519 (72%) were resolved directly with the medical care providers agreeing to provide medical care. The remaining 599 claims (28%) were resolved by a financial payment. Medical malpractice was found in 720 of the cases. The conciliation process took an average of three to six months and the time to a final arbitration decision took an average of fifteen months.
If your medical malpractice claim is based in the United States, you should seek prompt and competent legal advice regarding your rights. Visit our website to be connected to medical malpractice lawyers in your local area to discuss your possible claim. You may also reach us toll free at 800-295-3959. Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.