One of the many current controversies in health care is who will pay for obstetrical malpractice insurance. The Province has traditionally paid the lion’s share of the annual premium.
This year the Province has balked at paying the traditional 90 per cent portion because the insurance premiums have jumped 252 per cent, over $30,000, in one year!
How in hell does a price soar so much in such a short time? Where but in a world where people rely on the seemingly bottomless public purse can you expect to introduce such a gobsmackingly high increase in such a short time frame? What caused such a jump? Have provincial doctors suddenly lost their medical ability and engaged in mass, catastrophic care for newborns and mothers?
On Monday, a Halifax-based personal liability lawyer appeared on CBC’s Information Morning. According to him, problem births and resulting legal action were down in Nova Scotia. However, he said this high premium was driven by the insurer’s refusal to negotiate settlements. He said, “They will spent $200,000 not to pay $100,000.”
Is this insurer the insurer of last resort or would a private insurer be cheaper? I have heard threats by obstetricians to leave the province if the government doesn’t pay for the coverage, but I have not heard any discussion about an alternative insurer. What are the numbers?
How do your costs rise so much in one year? Is this yet another example of the poor management across Canadian health care? Why wouldn’t you anticipate rising costs so that annual premiums could be gradually increased? If a person’t car, house or life insurance jumped this much in a year they’d be shopping around for a new insurer, why not malpractice insurance?