When it comes to the costs and effects of litigation, the easiest thing for anyone in a position of responsibility to do is to shrug their shoulders and blame the lawyers.
Medical negligence is a classic case in point. The cost of litigation associated with this is often cited as an unbearable burden for the health service. (Though this does seem to miss the point a little, in focusing on the symptom rather than the underlying cause of the problem.)
An expert panel to review this whole area and how we might sensibly go about dealing with this issue as a society was established in 2004. However, one of its members, Denis Cusack, professor of forensic and legal medicine at UCD, has come out recently and pointed out that the panel has not met since April 2008 when a “comprehensive” report on what changes were needed was almost complete.
Apparently Professor Cusack has written repeated letters to the current Health Minister and his predecessor seeking clarity on when the group will be allowed to finalise its work. He has been told the matter is receiving attention. Yes, since around April 2008 it would appear…
Is this another example of government cynically saying they are doing something about it when in reality the issue is being left in limbo? Have a read for yourself and make up your own mind: http://goo.gl/9iDC6N