Monday, February 07, 2005

Malpractice Crisis in Ireland: Physicians to Vote On Industrial Action

Although this blog has had a distinctly American flavor, we believe that the general problems we discuss know no national boundaries. (By the way, we'd be happy to welcome some bloggers from outside the US.)
For example, those who think that the malpractice insurance situation is bad in the US should see stories here and here from Ireland. Although Ireland has a national health service, Irish hospital-based physicians (consultants) still face the risk of malpractice law-suits. Now Irish hospital consultants are ready to vote for an "industrial action," i.e., a doctor's strike, over malpractice insurance issues. Apparently, the Irish government developed a new system of malpractice coverage, but which did not include coverage for liabilities incurred before last February. The former source of many physicians' coverage of this "tail" (in the US parlance), is no longer available. So physicians have no source, other than own pocket, of payment for expenses occured to defend lawsuits arising from events before last February, and no insurance for any damages they might have to pay.

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