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Dept eases lawsuit crisis concerns
[Posted: Tue 18/12/2001 www.irishhealth.com]
by Fergal Bowers
The Department of Health has insisted that there will be no gaps in malpractice cover for doctors and dentists against lawsuits from patients, following the surprise decision of the firm which provides cover to the State's indemnity scheme to withdraw from this area in Ireland.
The Department told irishhealth.com that it had discussed the implications of the decision with The St Paul International.
The contract for the medical indemnity scheme which is operated by the St Paul for the State runs out in June 2002 by which time the Department hopes to bring in a new system to cover doctors and other healthcare workers against being sued by patients.
However, a number of medical representative bodies have expressed concern over proposed changes, worried that their independence in fighting lawsuits could be diminished.
The St Paul Insurance company announced from its headquarters in the US last week that it is exiting medical malpractice business on a global basis.
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