CMPA supports recommendations from the Goudge Report on medical liability
Published: May 9, 2018
The CMPA is encouraged by the recently published report [PDF] by the Honourable Stephen Goudge and his recommended solutions aimed at addressing rising damages in medical liability cases and improving the efficiency and timeliness of the medical liability system.1
There are identifiable areas where change could have a positive impact. The CMPA specifically supports collaborative approaches to contain medical liability protection costs through positive improvements, while protecting the reasonable interests of physicians and their patients within the existing system.
Along with other key points raised by Mr. Goudge, the CMPA supports recommendations that seek to address rising future care costs, including through: the establishment of statutory criteria for future care plans; efficiencies in the cost of future care services and periodic payments to plaintiffs; increased investment in independent supported living environments; and improvements to the discount rate.
Recommended procedural reforms – including the enhanced use of case management techniques, specialized judges, and early fixed trial dates – would also improve the efficiency of the system. In the meantime, Mr. Goudge expressly recognized that the “judges and lawyers engaged in these cases have to operate within a civil justice system that is subject to many demands and finite resources. They are clearly doing whatever they can.”
The CMPA is supportive of the broader finding by Mr. Goudge with respect to ongoing efforts to create a “robust culture of safety” and his recognition of the significant efforts already underway with respect to improved risk management in health care. A sensible approach, in a resource-constrained environment, is to refine the existing medical liability system while focusing effort and resources on patient safety and risk management.
We are pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in this review, and we are eager to work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Attorney General, and other interested parties to advance reforms to civil justice that would benefit all Ontarians.
- Hon. Stephen Goudge, Report to Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Re: Medical Liability Review). December 29, 2017. Available from: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/ministry/publications/reports/medical_liability/docs/medical_liability_review_en.pdf