Doctors paying more than €100,000 a year for clinical indemnity cover

IHCA wants State to offer clinical indemnity on a commercial basis

Increasing numbers of consultants working in private hospitals are paying more than €100,000 per year for clinical indemnity cover, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) conference has been told. Photograph: Reuters

Increasing numbers of consultants working in private hospitals are paying more than €100,000 per year for clinical indemnity cover, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) conference has been told. Photograph: Reuters

 

Increasing numbers of consultants working in private hospitals are paying more than €100,000 per year for clinical indemnity cover, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) conference has been told.

IHCA secretary general Martin Varley said this position was not sustainable.

He said the IHCA was urging the State Claims Agency to provide such clinical indemnity on a commercial basis.

Mr Varley also said the root of the consultant recruitment and retention problem in hospitals stemmed from the decision of a previous government to break a contract on pay and conditons it entered into in 2008 as well as continued discrimination in pay for recently-recruited senior medical personnel.

He said he did not have figures for the cost of such pay restoration for hospital consultants - although the HSE has estimated that this could cost up to €350 million.

Mr Varley said an appeal being brought by the HSE against a ruling last December by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in favour of two consultants over breaches of the 2008 contract was scheduled to be heard next January.

The Irish Times reported earlier this year that the Attorney General had urged the HSE to settle such cases.

Mr Varley said he was unaware of any such settlements taking place.

IHCA president Tom Ryan said the Department of Health “should come and engage with us”.

Asked about the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General which revealed that a Revenue Commissioners’ trawl of the tax affairs of medical consultants had yielded € 48.7 million in unpaid tax, penalties and interest since 2010, Mr Varley said tax affairs were a matter for individual doctors.

However he said there was a lack of guidelines from the Revenue Commissioners in relation to the incorporation of medical practices. He said greater clarity was needed.