Mediators' Institute Encourages Minister Vararadkar to Pursue New Approach to Medical Injuries Cases

Mediation can deliver better, speedier and more cost effective resolutions to medical injury cases for patients and medical professionals alike.  

Tuesday, 28thJuly 2015:

“We welcome the indication made by Minister Varadkar on radio that he is considering offering a totally non-adversarial system for resolving medical injuries cases. In particular, we would suggest that he ensures that a mediation service would form a central component of a Medical Injuries Assessment Board”, stated Gerry Rooney, President of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII) who was commenting on Sunday’s contribution by Minister Varadkar on the Marian Finucane Show*.

“It can be a very traumatic time for patients and medical professionals alike when medical procedures don’t work out as expected. The provision of a mediation service as part of a Medical Injuries Assessment Board would facilitate timely, confidential and sensitive communication between patients and medical professionals. This type of quality, open interaction can help both parties cope emotionally and arrive speedily at a quality resolution. In addition, mediation provides an alternative to costly and protracted legal proceedings,” added Mr Rooney.

MII President Rooney who has experience of training mediators in health care settings in the United States said, “A new Medical Injuries Assessment Board should promote mediation as the first step in the process to resolving medical injuries cases. It would facilitate an early opportunity of a “safe space” for the patient and the medical professional to explore what had happened on an emotional and medical level, and explore what possible remedies would be open both medical and financial to the patient. In the event of the mediation not being successful either party could still pursue the case through the courts and their case would not be compromised by having engaged in mediation. In my experience many such cases are resolved successfully through mediation, the costs of such settlements are significantly lower and both patient and medical professional have had an early opportunity to deal satisfactorily with the emotional trauma involved.”

ENDS

*Marian Finucane RTE 1 Radio Show - Please follow this link for Minister Varadkar’s comments at 52:50 minutes on the http://www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-finucane/

Report by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children on the costs of Medical Indemnity.

This recently published report highlights that the value of awards paid out by the State has increased by 304% since 2008 and that the average pay out has risen from €37,000 to €90,000 during the same period http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/mediazone/pressreleases/2015/name-28616-en.html

 

About The Mediators’ Institute of Ireland

The Mediators’ Institute of Ireland is the professional association for Mediators in Ireland. It is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote the use of quality mediation by ensuring the highest standards of education, training, professional practice and regulation. 

 

The Mediators' Institute of Ireland is a company limited by guarantee and registered in Dublin, Ireland.
Its registration number is 418250.
Registered Office: 31/32 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, Ireland. Registered Charity CHY16996.

About Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process of conflict prevention and resolution that allows the parties an opportunity to address their issues in a confidential, private, and safe environment.  Mediators are trained in conflict resolution skills and techniques and have the expertise needed to give people the best possible opportunity to resolve their disputes.

Mediation is effective:

  • In single-issue and multi-issue disputes
  • In two-people and multi-party conflicts
  • In developing innovative and sustainable solutions when parties are willing but stuck
  • As a preventative intervention early in a conflict
  • As an alternative to avoid further costly public litigation

The mediation process improves communication, narrows outstanding issues, defuses emotions and defines areas of agreement.  Statistics show a success rate for mediation averaging 80 per cent.

 

 

For further information see www.themii.ie or contact Stiofán Nutty at +353 87 6175488