I read, with sadness, the reports of an increase in the amounts being paid out by the State Claims Agency in respect of medical negligence claims. I noticed the various statistics and figures that were furnished. I also note, with some alarm and concern, the absence of any reference to, firstly, the human trail of devastation that has been left behind as a consequence of these medical errors. I would have thought that some recognition might be had for those unfortunate people who have had their lives devastated.
Secondly, there seems to be little emphasis on how the medical errors can be reduced. There is frequently talk about the medical profession now being under pressure as a result of “chronic under investment” and staffing “in crisis”. It would be foolish, in the extreme, to assume that the consequences of the under investment are merely pressures. They also have a consequence in human terms where peoples’ lives are being destroyed.
As a medical negligence lawyer, I also want to take issue with Mr. Breen when he says that there is not a ‘defend and deny’ policy in place. I would have to say, with regret, that I have found the contrary in daily practice acting on behalf of patients who have been injured in our hospitals.
Karen Kearney, Medical Negligence Solicitor at Cantillons
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