The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called for the government to increase the level of cuts on fixed fees for doctors medical reports, claiming that the current level do not go far enough to remove the referral element.
Responding to the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) consultation regarding medical reports and whiplash claims, the ABI has suggested that the fee, currently set at £200, for GP reports, should be reduced further to £170.
The ABI also voiced their support for a ban on law firms being able to obtain reports from medical agencies for which they have financial connections with, which is currently the subject of a possible judicial review.
The Chairman of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society, Craig Budsworth (pictured above), has described the suggested ban as a “red herring”, claiming that whether the law firm had a financial tie to the agency of not was irrelevant to the individual or not.
He also claimed that it was impossible to discuss or deal with the price of medical reports, while there was still so much uncertainty surrounding the accreditation of the medical experts.
He said: “It is very difficult to deal with the question of price at the moment, because the accreditation of medical experts is still to be understood and costed.
“If the price is reduced now, the issue will have to be looked at again when the accreditation process is finalised.
“The agency is almost irrelevant; it’s about the expert and ensuring that the expert is independent. If I directly instruct the same doctor time and time again, how would that be caught by the ownership point?”
He went on to suggest that doctors could declare where their work as experts is coming from in a similar way that solicitors currently are enforced to do by the SRA.