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IHCA warn “medical indemnity costs” are driving consultants out

Speaking today at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, the IHCA claimed the cost of clinical indemnity has doubled for many specialties in recent years with it increasing by an average of 40 per cent in 2014 alone.

“The cost of clinical indemnity is now unrealistic and unaffordable for most consultants in private practice,” said Mr Maurice F Neligan, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Beacon Clinic and IHCA Council member, who addressed the committee.

“The effects of this are that our highly skilled consultant colleagues are leaving practice for overseas opportunities and others have retired earlier than planned.

“Most importantly the unfolding indemnity crisis will adversely impact on patients, as waiting lists in public hospital for surgery increased by 20 per cent in the past year with catastrophic effects for all patients.”

The IHCA says it has been in regular contact with the Minister for Health and his senior officials as well as the State Claims Agency.

“The department is analysing the potential benefit of reducing the caps in order to reduce the indemnity charges,” an association spokesperson said.

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