Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1101)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1101. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the role of the State in the indemnification of medical professionals (details supplied); and the cost of same in each of the years 2011 to 2018, in tabular form. [20036/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The State Claims Agency has a statutory remit to manage personal injury claims, including claims in respect of clinical negligence, on behalf of Delegated State Authorities (DSA’s) including the Health Service Executive.

Clinical indemnity cover in respect of clinical negligence claims occurring in public hospitals and HSE facilities is provided by the State’s Clinical Indemnity Scheme (CIS). All consultants practising in the public system are covered by the Clinical Indemnity Scheme (CIS). Depending on whether a doctor in a public healthcare enterprise is permitted by his/her contract to have a private practice, such private practice is covered by the Clinical Indemnity Scheme.

Consultants working in full-time private practice and those with a contract that permits off-site private practice must purchase professional indemnity cover for this private work from medical defence organisations or from commercial insurers up to a certain level. Above this level, the State meets the costs of claims for adverse clinical incidents for those consultants in wholly private practice in non-public funded hospitals.

The State Claims Agency’s remit provides indemnification to Healthcare Enterprises in respect of healthcare-related personal injury and third-party property damage claims. This indemnity is provided on an Enterprise Liability basis whereby the health enterprise assumes liability, on a vicarious basis, for the acts and omissions of its practitioners. The Agency, therefore, does not hold information pertaining to claims made against individual medical professionals, whether, doctor, nurse, midwife or allied healthcare professional. Doctors are rarely sued in their own right, and claimants are required only to sue the health enterprise. In addition, claims are rarely based on the negligence of an individual or an individual act or omission but relate more broadly to a combination of contributory and complex factors.

My Department has requested that the SCA provide details of the costs of the Indemnity for the period requested by the Deputy, and I will forward this information to the Deputy when it becomes available.