Special Report

Medical negligence claims make up majority of state’s €5bn legal liabilities

Figures from the State Claims Agency show health constitutes 78 per cent of financial budget despite accounting for only 35 per cent of cases

Dr Rhona Mahony, the former master of the National Maternity Hospital, is chair of a working group examining how the cost of health-related claims has risen by 500 per cent since 2010 and what mechanisms might be used to reduce costs

The state’s legal liabilities have grown nearly five-fold in the last decade, now standing at approximately €5 billion, the majority of which is due to medical negligence.

New figures from the State Claims Agency published last week show that total legal liabilities for claims against the state are estimated to be €4.96 billion, made up of €3.39 billion “clinical claims” and €1.1 billion general claims.

While health claims represent 78 per cent of cases when ...