In June 2018, the Government agreed to the establishment of the expert group to review the management of clinical negligence claims. It was chaired by the High Court judge, Mr. Justice Charles Meenan. The expert group examined the system from the perspective of the person who has made the claim to explore if there is a better way to deal effectively, yet more sensitively, with certain cases. Personally, I believe there is. Mr. Justice Meenan submitted the final report on the current system for managing clinical negligence claims to the then Minister for Health and Minister for Justice in January 2020, prior to the onset of the Covid pandemic. The Government subsequently published the Meenan report in December 2020. One of the report's recommendations is that a compensation scheme be established.
On foot of a request from my Department, the Health Research Board, HRB, carried out an evidence review on the vaccine injury redress programme in other jurisdictions, which was completed in March 2019. The expert group's report, in addition to the HRB's evidence review, and consultation with other Departments and relevant State agencies will inform the development of proposals regarding the establishment of a compensation scheme, including the need for primary legislation, and work to advance policy development in this regard is under way in the Department.