The medico-legal crisis

The NHS’ liabilities for medico-legal claims now total £65bn, draining the NHS of much-needed funds and putting patients at risk by driving GPs out of practice concludes Dr Paul Goldsmith, Consultant Neurologist and policy strategist, in his report “The Medico-Legal Crisis and How to Solve It” published Friday 6 October by the Centre for Policy Studies.

The UK’s medico-legal bill is £24 per person, more than twice the US’ £9 per person despite the US’s reputation as a more litigious culture. The cost of claims in the UK is also likely to increase substantially following the drop in the discount rate from 2.5% to -0.75%, announced in February of this year. Many in the insurance industry believe that the reduction in the discount rate will result in over-compensation.

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