Will Irish healthcare issues cause an increase in medical negligence claims?

What We Do

A report in the Irish Times has highlighted the pressures placed on junior doctors in Ireland and the potential this creates for mistakes in healthcare and medical negligence. With the health deficit now at €270 million, the chances of this problem being remedied soon are unlikely; the HSE must focus on correcting the overrun. Taoiseach Enda Kenny maintains that the impact of this on front line services must be minimised absolutely, but the question must be asked as to whether these mounting difficulties will lead to sub-standard care for patients, a concern for medical negligence solicitors and their clients.

Helen Coughlan

Helen Coughlan
Medical Negligence Solicitor

Helen Coughlan is a partner and advises on medical negligence*, family law and personal injuries*. Helen is a qualified family mediator and collaborative law practitioner and is Chairperson of the Family and Child Law Committee of the Law Society.

Contact Helen Today

Overworked doctors and medical negligence compensation

Dermot Bowden, a surgical senior house officer in an Irish hospital commented in the Irish Times that “punishing hours” for junior doctors are “putting patients at risk”. He speaks of the exhaustion of these doctors and the potential this creates for getting things wrong in healthcare.  The Irish Times reports that cash strapped hospitals are relying on such doctors to get things done, while payment for their hours seems to be at the whim of management. Another doctor interviewed in the article worked 8am Monday morning until Tuesday evening with only one hour spent sleeping. He was “expected back on the wards again at 8am on Wednesday”. He spoke of people “drifting into the wrong lane while driving home”. There is no doubt that these doctors cannot serve their patients to the best of their ability under the pressure of such exhaustion. The implications of medical negligence are too serious to ignore, one mistake could cause a life altering injury for a patient.

Medical claims and injuries in Ireland*

It is against this backdrop of spending cuts and overworked doctors that the number of clinical claims in the first six months of 2012 has increased compared with previous years. This is the first time that this has happened since the setting up of the clinical indemnity scheme in 2002. A link is suggested between tough economic times and a higher rate of medical claims. It appears that people may be more likely to make a claim after a medical negligence event in a difficult economic climate. All the more reason, the Clinical Indemnity Scheme’s newsletter argues, that clinical risk management must remain a priority for the health sector, despite funding pressures.

A medical negligence injury can have devastating results for a patient and as acknowledged by the HSE, the current emphasis on cost containment may risk compromising good clinical governance. We can only hope that our medical professionals can cope with the spending cuts and long hours to give Irish patients the level of care they deserve.

* In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

Have You Experienced Medical Negligence?
Let the Experts Stand By You.

At Patrick J Farrell & Company Solicitors, we understand the profound impact medical negligence can have on your life. With a legacy founded by Patrick J. Farrell and carried forward by a dedicated team, we have been advocates for justice for over four decades. Our commitment to putting our clients’ interests first, combined with our extensive legal expertise, makes us the ideal partners in your pursuit of justice.

From the moment you walk through our doors to the resolution of your case, you’ll be treated with the utmost courtesy, respect, and understanding. Choose us – where your well-being is our top priority. Reach out to us today and let our experienced solicitors guide you every step of the way.

Talk to a Medical Negligence Solicitor


More Medical Negligence Resources

Medical Negligence Solicitors

A&E Claims

Delayed Diagnosis Claims

Making a Medical Negligence Claim

Wrong Site Surgery Claims

Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims

Surgery Negligence Claims

Hospital Negligence

Birth Injuries to Children

Birth Injuries to Mothers

Birth Injury Claims: Guide to Concerns and Compensation

Will Irish healthcare issues cause an increase in medical negligence claims?

Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Procedures

Hip replacements and joint replacements

Cosmetic Surgery Claims