New group to examine rising cost of claims against health service

The government is to establish a new group to look at the rising cost of claims against the health service.

Health-related claims cost €461 million in 2021, with a 20% higher figure expected for 2022.

That compares to just €75.3 million in 2010.

The main driver is payments for damages in clinical claims, with the new group set to focus particularly on high value cases of more than €4 million  each.

The interdepartmental group is to be chaired by former master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr Rhona Mahony.

Stephen Donnelly will tell his colleagues that there is work underway to reduce the costs associated with health claims – including a focus on minimising incidents of avoidable harm done through patients safety and reducing risks – both of which are part of clinical strategies.

The group is expected to be established shortly, and to produce a final report for the Minister for Health within nine months.


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