Sick Cert Expenditure Raises Alarm

Author:Mr Tom Hayes
Profession:Matheson Ormsby Prentice
 
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Expenditure on sickness benefit is reported to have risen from €330 million in 2001 to €876 million last year. The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, is currently examining proposals to remove the certification of sick leave from family GPs and give it to independent medical assessors with expertise in occupational medicine. At their meeting on 5 July 2012, the Medical Council reminded GPs of their obligations under the Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners when issuing sick certificates.  The Council discussed the ongoing debate surrounding sick leave and its impact on the economy and the public finances. The Medical Council's ethical guide states that: "In issuing certificates, reports, prescriptions and other formal documents, you must be accurate and make sure the document is legible. You must also include your Medical Council registration number. Normally you should only...

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