Types of Responsibility of Health Professionals and Establishments

The community of medicine, nursing, psychology, nutrition or social work professionals have a very important task within society, because their actions focus on two of the most important treasures of the human being, which are health and life, however, they are not exempt from some responsibility in the exercise of their profession. Under equal conditions, there are health establishments, whether public or private.

In addition, as citizens we will never forget the commendable work that health professionals had during the pandemic in dealing with the situation in different latitudes, and that despite their great efforts, there were too many infections, sick people, and unfortunately deaths in the population

In the legal aspect, the actions of doctors and other experts in the health area have different approaches, for example, it is defensive medicine, which is exercised occasionally in relation to patients, so as not to be involved in any legal problem. Likewise, lawyers exercise medical legal representation in cases of negligence due to professional responsibility; or, preventive legal medicine, in which the legal framework related to the professional, labor, administrative and criminal aspect is made known, to avoid professional medical liability as much as possible.

However, it is important to note the legal scope that derives from the activity of health professionals, whether in the public sector through State institutions; or, where appropriate, in the private sector through the different clinics and hospitals; also particularly in offices to provide services to patients.

As a further corollary, it is convenient to carry out a study and analysis of the various types of responsibility of health service providers, according to american legislation, for which the following is available:

Labor responsibility

When a worker in the public or private sector, commits any conduct that contravenes the legal norms due to their employment, such as the Federal Labor Law, Collective Agreement and/or General Conditions of Work and other legal systems, results in the initiation of a labor investigation, and that, regularly, It is through the legal area. If appropriate, it would be applied as a sanction from a reprimand to the termination of employment.

Criminal responsibility

Health professionals are susceptible to committing some iatro pathogenesis due to their activity and the Public Prosecutor’s Office must hear cases of medical negligence due to professional liability or other illegal acts in accordance with the Penal Code or General Health Law, the latter in the catalog of special crimes. Naturally, there is the possibility that according to the crime committed, the ministerial authority will send the matter to the facilitators of the Specialized Body for Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, to carry out conciliation sessions between the parties involved. It is important to highlight that, despite the fact that the procedure for legal persons is regulated, to date no criminal action has been brought against any company, unlike the United States of America or Spain, which have made too much progress in this area. .

Administrative responsibility

The Ministry of Public Function and the Internal Control Bodies have the power to investigate and substantiate the procedure of administrative responsibilities against public servants of State institutions. Of course, in adherence to the General Law of Administrative Responsibilities created for this purpose, and where serious and non-serious offenses are provided, and also, sanctions such as public or private reprimand, suspension, dismissal and disqualification from employment, position or commission.

Patrimonial responsibility of the State

This figure serves as a mechanism to demand from the State, the right to compensation, as a consequence of the irregular administrative activity of the public servants of some institution, and that in the species, is the damage caused to the assets and rights of the patients by the provision of a service.


Unlike the previous one, there is the possibility of jointly and severally suing professionals and health establishments of a private nature before the civil courts, to claim the payment of compensation.

Responsibility before the National Commission of Medical Arbitration

CONAMED is an institution whose purpose is to contribute to resolving in a friendly manner and in good faith, the conflicts arising between the users of the services and their providers. It should be noted that it receives complaints, investigates alleged irregularities in the provision of medical services and issues its opinions, agreements and awards, which allow resolving conflicts acting with impartiality, confidentiality and respect, through alternative procedures for conflict resolution, or in your case, guidance, immediate management, conciliation and arbitration.

Responsibility before the National Council to Prevent Discrimination

CONAPRED is in charge of receiving and resolving complaints for alleged discriminatory acts committed by individuals or by federal authorities in the exercise of their functions, such is the case of patients and users of the medical service. for any distinction or exclusion based on ethnic or national origin, sex, age, disability, social or economic condition, health conditions, pregnancy, language, religion, opinions, sexual preferences, marital status or any other, which prevents or nullifies the recognition or exercise of rights and real equality of opportunities for people.

Responsibility before the National Human Rights Commission

The CNDH, as an autonomous public body, attends to and follows up on complaints and/or complaints filed by users in relation to abuses committed by the authorities, issuing recommendations that must be addressed immediately and in detail, and that in this way, it could be the provision of health services.

 Responsibility before the Federal Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risk

COFEPRIS is an authority to protect the population against health risks caused by the use and consumption of goods and services, health supplies, as well as their exposure to environmental and labor factors, the occurrence of health emergencies and the provision of of health services, through the regulation, control and prevention of health risks. That is why some health service providers such as the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, sanatoriums, clinics; among others, must comply with the recommendations and requirements of said public body.

Responsibility before the Federal Consumer Attorney’s Office

When private health establishments or clinics provide a service to various patients, they have the obligation to comply with the standards established by PROFECO, such as respecting the established prices; or, comply with the adhesion contract required by said body. Otherwise, you can start a liability procedure and apply different sanctions that go from a fine to the closure of the business.

Therefore, I consider it important to make the following recommendations, which are useful for public health service providers and private initiatives.

For health professionals

  • Know the legal environment and the areas or offices related to the activity, work or professional employment.
  • Learn about professional responsibility issues.
  • Warn the rights and obligations of health service providers and patients.
  • Have civil liability or professional liability insurance.
  • Know the organizational chart, processes and other functions in the organization.
  • Adopt criteria of respect for human rights and good treatment of patients.
  • In case of a human and involuntary error, communicate it immediately to the superior for a possible solution.
  • Use human and material resources solely for the service provided.
  • Have available the legal contact and other related areas for advice or respective guidance.

For managers of health establishments

  • Train staff in the administrative and regulatory operation of the organization, as well as provide tools in strategic positions for conflict resolution and negotiation.
  • Public institutions and other authorities linked to its functionality must be identified.
  • Insure or hire workers with professional liability insurance coverage.
  • Having a lawyer specialized in health law on a permanent basis to request legal advice, in the event that an eventuality arises.
  • In the case of hospitals, clinics and private sanatoriums, health compliance services must be contracted for ethical and regulatory compliance.


It should be emphasized that knowledge and information are the best medicine and vaccine to avoid liability, in addition to this, the professional who knows the law, complies with it and is advised, is not wrong. Thus adopting a more preventive stance, that is, not waiting for problems to arise in the future if we can avoid them above all.



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