Group set up to examine 500% rise in cost of health-related claims since 2010

Group set up to examine 500% rise in cost of health-related claims since 2010

Dr Rhona Mahony will be the chair of a group examining the rise in cost of health-related claims. Picture: Sam Boal/

Former master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr Rhona Mahony is to chair a special group to examine a significant jump in the cost of health-related claims.

The Government is concerned about a rise of over 500% in the cost of health-related claims since 2010.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will seek Cabinet approval for the establishment of the Interdepartmental Working Group to look at the rising cost, which have gone from €75.3m in 2010 to €461m in 2021, with a further 20% increase projected for last year.

The main driver is damages payments on clinical claims, particularly those in excess of €4m. 

The group will examine the rising costs, with a focus on these high-value claims.

Dr Mahony will be asked to produce a final report within nine months of the group's first meeting, with suggestions on measures that could be taken to reduce costs in the future.

Mr Donnelly will also update Cabinet on the situation in emergency departments. He will outline the measures his department is taking to tackle the crisis but will tell his fellow ministers that the numbers on trolleys are stable.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Micheál Martin will update the Government on a series of events both here and abroad to mark the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Government's global St Patrick's Day trips will include events and celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Rather than focusing on a single date, events will take place throughout the year, also reflecting the vital role played by the US and the European Union in supporting the peace process.

Separately, Heather Humphreys is expected to tell Cabinet that spending on jobseekers' payments was almost €50m below target due to the fact that unemployment figures have reached a record low.

Overall, the State’s Social Insurance Fund, which is used to pay for the State pension, jobseekers, and other payments recorded a €2bn surplus last year.

In a memo going to Cabinet, she will also outline how her Department spent €1.3 in 2022 alone through once-off measures to help families with the cost of living.

An expansion of the Hot School Meals programme resulted in €4.5m in spending than originally estimated.

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