Medical Negligence Cases in Northern Ireland Costing Over £21 Million Each Year

Ireland’s Department of Health reports that the sheer number of medical negligence cases in Northern Ireland alone are costing upwards of £21 million in 2021 alone. The exact £21.9 million number the report states takes into consideration the legal costs involved in the cases. That number works out to be around £60,000 per day being paid out due to medical negligence claims in Northern Ireland alone.


Here are some facts to take from the report. In previous years, Department of Health reports have shown that about 2/3 of the total amount spent in a year went directly towards damages and claims payouts, with the other third going toward legal costs for the medical negligence solicitors in Dublin that handled the case. Outside of the allocations toward damages and legal costs, medical negligence related to obstetrics and newborns continues to account for 60% of total successful payouts. All of this makes Irish tort law, the governing sector of laws that medical negligence falls into within Ireland, a very valuable sector for medical negligence solicitors in the country. The landscape of firms is a roster of very competitive legal professionals vying to be the best medical negligence claim solicitors in Dublin, mainly due to the fact that not much High Court business happens outside the city.


Even today, all medical negligence cases in Ireland are decided by the High Court based on prior precedence set by Dunne vs. National Maternity Hospital in 1989. The results of that case became the Dunne Principles, a set of several criteria that are used when evaluating medical negligence claims in Ireland.


To sum up the Dunne’s Principles, every medical practitioner owes a duty of care to their patients. In order to prove negligence on the part of the medical provider in terms of Ireland’s law, several questions must be answered and evaluated. Points relate to whether the medical provider has breached their duty of care, and if that breach directly caused the damages alleged by the plaintiff.  That is just a summary – the actual Dunne Principles are a number of paragraphs long and written in long form legal language.


The high volume of medical negligence claims and the associated 1/3 cost of the legal fees related to the cases is enough to make native Irish doctors think twice about taking the risk of practicing medicine in the country. Ireland sees a huge rate of doctors leaving the country to work in foreign countries, and it is no surprise why. They simply do not want to risk their years of medical schooling, high investment in education and high personal income to the Irish legal environment pertaining to negligence.

Here are some facts you will get from the article. In previous years, the Ministry of Health report showed that about 2/3 of the total money spent in a year went directly to damages, the other third to legal fees for lawyers specializing in Medical Negligence in Dublin is those who settle the case.


It makes it no surprise that Ireland is 4th in the world in reliance upon international medical professionals. Ireland is just behind Australia, New Zealand and Israel in importing doctors into their country.



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