Have you been the victim of a medical accident or medical negligence?
If so you may be unsure where to turn.
One would hope your doctor or health professional would help, answer questions, advise you, sympathise, empathise?
Maybe you have been “discharged” from medical care after something has gone wrong and no-one wants to tell you what happened or what went wrong?
We call this abandonment.
It is not acceptable and is one of the main reason why people end up suing the medical profession.
Over the last year there have been a number of reported cases, judicial and political comments about the failure of the HSE and it`s legal arm, the State Claims Agency to treat the victims of medical accidents and medical negligence with basic respect, dignity, courtesy, kindness and above all honesty.
Here are a few quotes
“no family should have to fight for the truth in our health system” …. March 2014 following the report of the death of a fifth baby at Portlaoise Hospital
The former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter
“the distress caused to families through lapses in medical care should not be magnified by the conduct of hospitals and state authorities subsequently engaging in an unnecessarily contentious and defensive handling of such unfortunate events”………………February 2014
Head of the HSE Tony O’Brien
“The Health Service too often does not deal openly with and communicate honestly with patients and their families when things go wrong………………there have been appalling lapses in the way we care for people which can be hard to comprehend”……………….February 2014
“the Health Service lacks accountability, is not sufficiently patient focussed, fails to learn from it`s mistakes and doesn’t know how many patients it is killing or harming”………………………..May 2014
Ms Justice Mary Irvine of the High Court
In March of this year Ms Justice Mary Irvine who is also the Chair of the High Court Medical Negligence Working Group called for a “radical over haul “ of the management of cases involving clinical and medical negligence. In a case that came before her in December 2013 she noted a late admission of liability on the part of the defendant hospital was “ very regrettable”.
Ironically the State Claims Agency later issued a statement trying to defend their position using the lame excuse of a lack of resources………………………….
This is IMPOSSIBLE to believe or accept when it is well known and documented that
- The State Claims Agency employs 12 specialist full time solicitors to deal with medical negligence cases
- The State Claims Agency has paid out €24.3 million in legal fees to solicitors in 2013
- The State Claims Agency can employ any medical expert at any cost, and multiple experts to defend a claim for medical negligence.
- The State Claims Agency is funded by the State……………whereas there is no funding available whatsoever to assist victims of medical accidents or medical negligence
- Section 8.3 of the NTMA Amendment Act states it is the function of the Agency to…………….use all necessary resources to defend claims robustly.
It is even more ironic and quite frankly nauseating when we hear the Chairwoman of the Injuries Board (formerly PIAB) Dorothea Dowling claiming that that organisation ( also a State Agency ) has a reserve of €10 million “left over” as a result of “savings” made in it’s 10 year history. This is tax payer`s money and which Ms. Dowling thinks should be used to set up a similar claims board for medical negligence cases. In other words another State Claims Agency………………….the writer respectfully suggests Ms. Dowling should stay in her ivory tower and stick to what she knows which is protecting and promoting the motor insurance industry.
At C. M. Haughey Solicitors we believe passionately in the rights and entitlements of people who have been let down by the health system, our health professionals and our hospitals.
If you believe you have a reason to sue a doctor, consultant, hospital or other medical organisation, call us and let us talk you through the process.
It will cost you nothing to talk to us on 1800938893.