Speaking at the Irish Hospital Consultants Association AGM on Saturday, CEO of the Medical Protection Society, Simon Kayll, explained why MPS was forced to increase subscription rates earlier this year.
He described how the deteriorating claims environment in Ireland - a combination of large increases in both the rate at which hospital consultants are being sued and the average size of those claims, compounded by the lack of an efficient legal process - are pushing up subscription costs for doctors.
Mr Kayll made it clear that MPS is acutely aware of the financial strain this is putting on the profession and highlighted the urgent need for tort and procedural reform.
Mr Kayll said: “This year, we have increased subscription rates in Ireland, and for some specialties, this rise was significant. We are aware of the increasingly detrimental effect the escalating cost of clinical negligence has on members and the potential impact on society as a whole.
“As a mutual, not-for-profit organisation we make no profit from subscriptions; these increases directly reflect the need to cover the rising cost of clinical negligence. We are owned by and are accountable to our members, including over 12,000 in Ireland, and have an obligation to collect subscriptions to meet the expected future costs of claims against them so we can defend their interests long into the future.”
Mr Kayll added: “MPS is owned by its members and is part of the medical and dental professions in Ireland. As part of this community, we share the IHCA’s concerns that increased costs could threaten the sustainability of private practice and are committed to pushing for reform to the legal process.”
MPS is preparing a case for tort reform in Ireland, which will make a number of bold but achievable recommendations. As part of this, a limit on general damages is being considered. The paper is due to be put forward later in the year.
For further information, please contact Shannon Darling, MPS Press Officer on +44 (0) 20 7399 2019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org