Liability of Medical Institutions In Ethiopia: Injuries Caused by Independent Contractors and Non-employee Physicians

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Addis Ababa University


In most jurisdictions the liability of medical institutions for the injuries caused to its patients used to be conditional up on the employment relationship that may exist between the institution and the health professional that caused the injury. However, modern medical institutions started to avoid formal employment relationship with physicians to insulate themselves from medical malpractice claims that may arise due to the fault of the attending health professional. Given the modern set up of health institutions, where patients’ reliance is placed up on the effectiveness of the institution- not individual physicians, some legal systems responded to this situation by adopting theories of corporate negligence and ostensible agency to establish the liability of such health institutions for medical malpractices and faults committed by non-employee physicians or independent contractors. This thesis therefore explores the Ethiopian legal framework towards the liability of medical institutions for medical malpractices and shows how the Ethiopian Civil Code of 1960 leaves untouched the liability of medical institutions when independent contractors or non-employee physicians cause injury to a sick person within the premises of the institution, and makes suggestions to update the law to cope with new developments in the health care relationships and medical service.



medical institution,medical service