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Massive Rise in Hospital Compensation Settlements in 2010

According to details released by the State Claims Agency, it  has already paid out on fifth more in hospital compensation settlements during  the first eight months of the year compared with the calender year 2009.

The State Claims Agency had already paid hospital compensation settlements of €59.9 million up to August 2010, compared to the 2009 total hospital compensation settlement payments of €48 million.  At the current progression,  the Agency will make compensation settlements of almost €90 million throughout 2010.  This is an increase of almost 50% on the previous year.

Mary Harney, The Minister for Health, has revealed some measures to improve the safety of patients. Chief among these are draft healthcare standards formulated by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), which has now begun a public consultation phase.

The Health Minster said that about 10% of hospital admissions encountered an ‘adverse event’, and about 1% of the these events would result in injury or death.  Commenting on the adverse events, the Minister Harney stated “Many of them are systemic failings and many of them are avoidable”.

However, as with the recent DePuy recall, it should also be noted out that though the rate of adverse events in HSE run hospitals is relatively high, the HSE is not always to blame.