The COVID-19 pandemic caused a global lockdown in 2020 and affected the economy and healthcare significantly. While the pandemic has redefined normalcy, medical negligence claims have become more concerning. Public and health professionals are well aware of the impact of COVID-19 on medical negligence claims. Moreover, recent events show the growing impact in Australia.

The pandemic has introduced a new paradigm to the existing legal principles. In a time of crisis, it has been difficult to maintain accessible and equal, quality health care to all citizens. Lack of space and resources globally impacted the health care systems of various countries. Hence, the court faces 2 questions –


  • Can we sue a hospital if they don’t have the capacity to treat a patient?
  • Can we force a hospital to treat a patient despite the absence of clinical need?

In the UK, recent court decisions suggested that hospitals have the right to discharge a patient or refuse further treatment due to lack of resources – the pandemic after effects. However, the decision can be challenged if made on unethical grounds or irrelevant reasons.


New concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many people came forward with concerns regarding the spread of the virus – Can we sue the hospital if we contract COVID-19 there? There is a fine line between contracting the virus due to misfortune, and contracting the virus due to improper safety practices in the hospital. The latter points towards the hospital’s unethical practices during a pandemic.

In Victoria and other states, the government will compensate the patient for their pain – IF the person can prove permanent injuries. In Victoria, the test falls under s28 of the Wrongs Act – “significant injury”

If the negligence of a hospital/healthcare provider causes significant or permanent injuries (or death), the victim can demand compensation.



Medical negligence after the pandemic – COVID19 Vaccines

But, that’s during the pandemic. Eventually, COVID-19 vaccines were introduced to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, they raised medical negligence issues of their own.

Doctors observed significant but rare COVID-19 vaccine injuries, after which at least 10,000 people came forward. These also include stroke and inflammation of the heart. They planned to file a claim under the no-fault indemnity scheme of the federal government.

Hence, Services Australia is working on an online portal to launch in January 2022.  It will offer compensation for claims for injured victims or people who lost their employment due to the COVID-19 vaccine. The compensation will also cover the medical costs and lost salaries. The government will be responsible for the financial claims, offering up to $5000.

Statistics show 78,880 events linked to COVID-19 vaccinations. This is 0.21% of the 37.8 million doses administered to Australians by November 7, 2021. A majority of the 78,880 events showed mild side effects. These include nausea, sore arms, and headache.

The government’s vaccine indemnity scheme compensated the medical costs of people who spent at least one night at the hospital due to moderate to severe reactions.


Contact us to file a claim today

You’ve probably seen medical negligence claims everywhere – misdiagnosis, lack of ethical practices, surgical errors, and more. Nevertheless, the pandemic has raised new concerns for citizens. However, it can be difficult to navigate the complicated claim process. If you witness medical negligence and demand compensation, contact one of our lawyers today.

Here at United Legal, our experience and expertise help you get the compensation you deserve. We know how this system works and are dedicated to each of our clients with a compassionate approach.

United Legal


Medical Negligence Lawyers Canberra



For our legal support services Contact us at (02) 6295 2283


Visit us at


54-56 Townsville St, Fyshwick ACT 2609


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