Wednesday 12 December 2018

GPs have questions to answer on their role in the compo scam and insurance costs

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Medical practitioners have a lot to answer for in this country. When it comes to our problems with spurious personal injury claims the finger often gets pointed at a minority of dodgy lawyers. But GPs and consultants are big earners and big players in our whiplash culture.

The same medical experts are also certifying claims for disability allowance, some of which are suspect.

The numbers claiming a disability payment have shot up in the last few years, with no clear explanation about where the extra numbers are coming from, according to a report by officials in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. In the last 10 years, which coincides with the economic downturn here, there has been hike of almost 42,500 in the numbers of people getting a disability allowance payment.

Chancers go to their general practitioner (GP), make up a tall tale about their "disability" and some doctors dutifully take down what they are saying and give them a note they then use to make a claim.

Now the Irish College of General Practitioners has admitted that the majority of compensated whiplash claims are "frankly spurious".

The professional body told the Personal Injuries Commission - headed up by former president of the High Court Nicky Kearns to look at award levels here compared with other countries - that whiplash has been monetised in the legal system, according to documents obtained by 'The Sunday Business Post'.

But it gets worse. The GPs admitted that the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship meant that physicians can be "hopelessly compromised" when it comes to objective reporting of an injury.

What an admission. This amounts to GPs owning up to the fact that they go along with spurious and exaggerated injury claims to avoid damaging their relationship with patients. And honest drivers end up paying for this charade.

This is an extraordinary admission and comes a few months after a leading neurosurgeon said whiplash is a myth and written reports of it are mainly detailing non-existent injuries. Dr Charles Marks, a UCC lecturer, says the whiplash epidemic is a multi-billion euro gravy train that produces a good living for the medical profession and for solicitors and barristers, and the "victims".

Whiplash accounts for up to 80pc of motor injury claims. Pay-outs for whiplash are three times higher in this country than in Britain and a multiple of award levels in France.

The next time you get an elevated motor insurance renewal quote think of the role of some GPs in the great compo scam.

Sunday Indo Business

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