Roger Murray, Head of the Medical Negligence Department at a leading law firm, told a recent Pathways to Progress conference on medical negligence that around 1,000 unnecessary deaths are happening annually in Ireland due to medical mistakes.
Mr Murray, joint Managing partner at Callan Tansey solicitors, went on to say that up to 160,000 people attending hospital for treatments suffer injuries due to human error. Mr Tansey, speaking during September at the gathering of solicitors, medical professionals and patients, insisted that there is “no compo culture” present when it comes to medical negligence compensation action in Ireland. He saidthat what we are currently seeing in the legal system in Ireland is just “the top of a very murky iceberg”.
Mr Tansey who has represented clients in a number of high-profile medical negligence compensation legal actions said that he feels that not all people injured in medical incidents make it known it while the HSE is alerted of 34,170 “clinical incidents” every year. Just 575 of these incidents lead to compensation claims against the HSE, a rate of less than 1.7 per cent.
The most commonly experienced cases, according to Mr Murray, relate to surgery (36 per cent) medicine (24 per cent), maternity (23 per cent) and gynaecology (7.5 per cent).
He emphasised that while injured patients and families do have pity for medical professionals after they make mistakes what “they cannot abide is systemic and repeated errors”.
He called for inn depth reviews to be completed when mistakes do occur. Mr Murray said he had seen many inquests where families learned that reviews had been completed following a death and, despite this, and the results were not disseminated to appropriate staff who could have learned from them.