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MPS raises issue of deteriorating claims environment at Dublin reception

13 February 2012

On 1 February, the Medical Protection Society (MPS) hosted a reception in Dublin for stakeholders in healthcare, where it shared the organisation’s recent medical and dental claims experience, as well as the medicolegal challenges on the horizon in Ireland.

The reception, hosted by new MPS Chief Executive Simon Kayll, was held at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and attracted more than 70 people from the healthcare and legal arenas.

Speaking at the reception, MPS Director of Policy and Communications, Dr Stephanie Bown said: “These are turbulent times. In the past five years, we have seen medical claims costs increase by 26% per annum. And for dental claims, the numbers are escalating – last year there were three times as many claims as five years ago.

Dr Bown outlined the possible reasons for the deteriorating claims environment, including high patient expectations and the increased risks associated with advances in technology and complex care. She also highlighted that rising values in compensation awards had been inflated by high legal costs.

Legal fees are often disproportionate to what patients receive in compensation, which is wrong and plainly unfair

“We are pleased that the Legal Services Regulation Bill will give rise to greater transparency for legal costs. Legal fees are often disproportionate to what patients receive in compensation, which is wrong and plainly unfair.

Dr Bown noted that claims against doctors and dentists was just one area where MPS is providing increasing support, having also seen a growing number of members before the Irish Medical and Dental Councils. Dr Bown explained that in 2010 MPS saw three times as many Irish Medical Council cases as 10 years ago.

“In such times, you need strength, security and stability. MPS is here for the long term, and we have shared interests with the health and legal communities of ensuring quality care, patient safety, as well as professional support, and compensation where it is due.

“It’s about giving doctors and dentists peace of mind, as well as helping pick up the pieces when something does go wrong. We want to help doctors and dentists be the very best they can be. It’s what they want, and it’s what their patients want too.”

Notes to editors

  1. Information about MPS and DPL in Ireland
  2. Dental Protection Limited is a member of the Medical Protection Society Limited group of companies