Medical negligence payments reached record levels in 2017; €1.1bn paid out in last 10 years

By Gordon Deegan

A record €248.88m was paid out by the State Claims Agency (SCA) last  year arising from clinical negligence claims.

This represents an increase of 20.6% on the €206.4m paid out in 2016.

New figures provided by the State Claims Agency show that since 2010, the SCA has paid out €1.123bn in response to medical negligence claims.

In addition, the SCA last year paid out €32.87m in general claims made in the public health sector. The figures show that between clinical and general claims, the SCA has paid out €1.235bn since 2010.

The figures provided by the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe in a written Dáil reply to Fianna Fail spokesman, Michael McGrath also show that over €28m has been paid out by the State in personal injury claims made against the Gardai over the past eight years.

The figures also show that €3.59m was last year paid out arising from personal injury claims made against the force.

The €3.59m payout last year was 22.5% down on the €4.63m paid out in 2015.

Since 2010, €23.6m has also been paid out in response to personal injury claims made against the Defence Forces.

The detailed figures show that €3.2m was last year paid out on behalf of the Defence Forces and this followed a similar pay-out in 2016.

In addition, the Irish Prison Service last year paid out €4m in response to personal injury claims and this followed a pay-out of €4.6m in 2016. The figures show that since 2010, the amount paid out by the Irish Prison Service in claims total €19m.

The figures show that the amount paid out in personal injury claims by TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency (CFA) topped the amounts paid out by the Gardai, the Prison Service and the Defence Forces last year.

In 2017, TUSLA paid out €4.1m in compensation claims and this was a sharp rise on the €3.46m paid out by TUSLA in 2016. Since it was established in 2013, TUSLA has paid out €11m.

The payments are made to those who suffer the personal injuries made up of service users, staff and members of the public - all payouts include awards, professional fees and expenses.

In total, state authorities, whose compensation claims are managed by the SCA, last year paid out a total of €20.25m in compensation and they have paid out €111m since 2010.

However, the vast bulk of the payouts by the SCA last year were from the public medical sector.

The information provided to Deputy McGrath also show that €1.38m was last year paid out by the SCA on behalf of Comprehensive and Community Schools with €296,673 paid out by the Dept of Health.

In addition, €261,569 was paid out by the Dept of Justice while €574,632 was paid out on behalf of Day Schools. The figures also show that €196,090 was paid out by Childrens Detention Schools.

Most Read in Ireland