The news that the Government intends to cover GP’s against clinical negligence claims is bound to raise more controversy within an NHS system which is already underfunded.
The Department of Health will develop its own scheme to provide cover for future, and potential historic claims arising from the delivery of NHS services in England.
Dr Paul Goldsmith, writing for the free market thinktank Centre for policy studies, has said that the current system for assessing and paying medical claims is expensive, unsustainable and can cause more harm than good. Goldsmith’s recommendations are in line with that of the Medical Defence Union, which has backed the repeal of the 1948 Act and a cap on damages.
The UK government currently estimates that liabilities for clinical negligence total £65bn, with £1.4bn paid out in the year ending March 2016. NHS Resolution estimates that £24 per person is paid out every year for clinical negligence.
Analysts say the change in the discount rate earlier this year, making compensation payments significantly higher risked pushing the cost of insurance protection to unsustainable levels.
On the one hand there is a concern at a potential exodus of doctors from general practice due to the rising cost of insurance, on the other hand some will say that the answer is to put proper funding into the system to ensure negligence doesn’t occur in the first place.
One thing for sure is the burden will shift from the insurers to taxpayers and may questionably do little to negate the need for victims to claim compensation in the first place.
But when an incident does occur our After the Event Insurance can be used to help those who have suffered as a result of Clinical Negligence.
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