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Government to establish group to examine rising cost of health-related claims

By Reporter - 31st Jan 2023

The Government has approved the proposal to establish an interdepartmental working group to examine the rising cost of health-related claims and consider mechanisms to reduce costs. The group will examine the rising cost of clinical negligence claims in the health system, with a particular focus on high value claims, and identify measures that could be put in place to reduce future costs.

The group’s considerations will include developing a plan to implement risk management and other initiatives to reduce the occurrence of adverse incidents and to recommend measures to address patient concerns following the occurrence of adverse incidents,

It will also take into account measures suggested by Dr Gabriel Scally in the final progress review of the implementation of the recommendations from his scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme, which was published in October 2022.

The group will be chaired independently by Dr Rhona Mahony, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin.

 It will be comprised of membership from across relevant Government departments and agencies.

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly stated:  “The most effective way to manage the cost of claims against the HSE is to minimise incidents of avoidable harm. While the Department and the HSE work continuously to monitor and improve patient safety, reduce incidents of harm and to minimise risk, I am keen to take further action on this.

The establishment of this Group, chaired by Dr Rhona Mahony, and comprising membership from across key Government departments and agencies, will be essential in identifying measures that could be put in place to improve outcomes for patients and reduce future costs. This is an important piece of work for patients and for the whole health service and I look forward to receiving the group’s findings and recommendations in due course”.

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