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'No-fault' compensation advisory group disbanded

“No plans to re-establish” the group, says Department of Health, but it is due to make recommendations for legal reforms to help people who suffer “catastrophic” injury due to medical negligence.

Roisin Conroy's parents, Kevin and Mary, outside the High Court last week. Their daughter's case dragged out for over a decade.
Roisin Conroy's parents, Kevin and Mary, outside the High Court last week. Their daughter's case dragged out for over a decade.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A GROUP WHICH was to examine how to help smooth the legal process for families whose children suffer “catastrophic injuries” at birth due to medical negligence will not sit again.

The Medical Independent has discovered that a Department of Health advisory group that was to examine “no-fault” compensation for those suffering injuries at birth last met in 2008. The Department of Health has now confirmed to reporter James Fogarty that the group will not meet again.

Instead, said a spokesperson, a report is due from that group. It is hoped that reforms recommended will help speed up the process for families. Just last week, 12-year-old Roisin Conroy from Portlaoise was awarded €2.6m for suffering a brain injury at birth – her parents had sued the HSE and a consultant on her behalf.

After the award, the family’s solicitor said the case again highlighted that measures were needed to prevent dragging families through years of legal trauma. Roisin’s father Kevin spoke of how his daughter had been denied the care she needed for over a decade as the case played out.

The spokesperson added that the Department of Justice and Equality is drafting a “General Scheme of a Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill which would make provision for periodic payments” which would be of particular benefit to cases where someone suffered series injury due to negligence of another.

Transparency in medical negligence cases could save the health system millions>
More than €45m paid out to patients injured in HSE hospitals>

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