Mediator in health care : is it possible ?
This would in fact require having extensive knowledge in all medical disciplines...
Otherwise, the task of this mediator would be limited to questions of common sense or legal questions (compliance with the rate of the INAMI national agreement, etc.) or to passively relay, without understanding them, the complaints of patients — whether in good or bad faith.
The example below illustrates our point well : a patient complains that the "criteria" of her prosthesis have not been respected by the dentist.
But what are these famous "criteria" ?
Mediator Marie-Noëlle Verhaegen never enters into the medical field itself : the patient can lie at will !
As the mediator does not have the required competence, she is content to passively relay the patient's complaint, without understanding anything and even writing -— in passing — some nonsense about the number of prosthesis frames, which does not make a good impression.
It should be noted that her function as federal mediator is required by the “Patient rights” law of 2002 and that she publishes an annual report on her activities.
The aforementioned report is moreover hardly tender with the dentists : in her Annual Report 2007, Marie-Noëlle Verhaegen scratches the dental "art" there — a word which she placed in quotation marks, as if she harbored doubts as for its serious.
In another annual report (2011), she stigmatizes dentists as "the practitioners least sensitive to the rights of patients".
These annual reports show, moreover, that the number of complaints lodged each year is increasing appreciably : in 2021 we should reach 700 to 800 complaints, dentists being the subject of a high percentage of these.
Marie-Noëlle Verhaegen is clearly a person "committed" to the defense of patients' rights, even going so far as to phone the dentist constantly after having sent him several emails that went unanswered.
She uses of course a modest tone, but there is certainly in these complaints a very great emotional content reflected by terms little used ("feels lost", "dismay", "a gesture") ... in any case when the patient is not lying to gain financial benefit.
And this is what is regrettable ...
In the example used in order to illustrate the function of mediator — and which is a favorable example for the dentist —, the patient obliged the latter to produce no less than three consecutive prosthesis frames, for each time complaining that the job was not right for her.
At the end of the third frame, the dentist gave her the second grind in her mouth ... which she found perfect, but which she suddenly rejected ... when the dentist confessed to her that it was in reality from previous work !
Marie-Noëlle Verhaegen affects to ignore that a removable dental prosthesis — especially new — is felt like a foreign body and that patients sometimes take the dentist for a magician who will restore their twenties !
Note that the mediator can redirect the patient's complaint to other bodies : Order of Physicians, Provincial Medical Commission, etc.), but that the law does not oblige the practitioner to accept mediation.
So be careful : to enter — under the aegis of Marie-Noëlle Verhaegen — into negotiations with the patient is to enter a gear from which the practitioner will have a hard time extricating himself !