Magazine article Public Finance

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Magazine article Public Finance

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NHS should defend itself

* The level of medical negligence claims is worrying and a huge drain on NHS resources (NHS clinical negligence claims "one of the government's biggest liabilities", http://bit.ly/2yRKKPI).

It seems that there is often inordinate haste to pay out rather than defend.

I'm not sure the comparison with the US is reasonable. Without knowing how many procedures take place on a per capita basis, there is no way of gauging whether medical quality in the US is lower or higher than in the UK. Also, in the US there has been a big pushback at judicial level on the amounts of compensation payable. It is a highly fragmented system and some individual states have brought in caps, sometimes very controversially, which has led to some doctors moving between states to minimise their personal liability exposure.

Ian Jones

Take cover

* On medical negligence, the bottom line is that doctors need to make fewer mistakes. Given their level of earnings, I fail to see why doctors are not compelled to provide some degree of insurance cover and that would take a lot of pressure off the NHS. …

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