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Rise in number of complaints against doctors

The Irish Medical Council said there was a 22 per cent increase in complaints last year.

File photo
File photo
Image: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE NUMBER OF complaints against doctors rose by over 20 per cent last year according to new figures from the Irish Medical Council.

The Medical Council, the doctors’ watchdog, said there had been a 22 per cent increase in complaints against medical practitioners in its annual report published today.

A total of 361 complaints were made in 2010. They were mostly related to professional standards, treatment, poor communication and the rudeness of medical practitioners as well as a failure to supply medical records.

The records show that on average one in every 49 doctors on the register was subject to a complaint. There are 18,700 doctors registered with the Medical Council.

However in 83 per cent of cases the Medical Council ruled that there was no case for holding a full inquiry.

Caroline Spillane said the number of complaints was likely to rise in years to come because of the increased awareness of the council’s activities given that inquiries are now held in public.

She said: “It is important that the public are encouraged to highlight any perceived shortfall in the standard of care they receive while the profession are confident in the transparency and fairness of Council’s processes.”

Read the full report here >

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Hugh O'Connell

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