MedCo is a system that facilitates the sourcing of medical reports in soft tissue injury claims brought under the Ministry of Justice’s ‘Pre-action protocol for low value personal injury claims in road traffic accidents’. The portal came into being in early 2015. The portal affects the way in which medical experts are instructed on personal injury matters.
Following a Ministry of Justice consultation in April 2019, the government propose to extend the scope of MedCo so that all initial medical reports for all road traffic accident (RTA)-related personal injury claims in the Small Claims Track are provided through one single system. However, we reject the idea that the government’s proposal is fit for purpose.
The proposal set out by the government is fundamentally flawed. The purpose of setting up MedCo was to address specific concerns regarding the need for randomised allocation of medico-legal expert witnesses in that specific types of RTA claim, and to ensure uniformity of cost. However, there has been no justification for the expansion of this limitation to cover other types of cases, which MedCo was not designed to handle.
If MedCo is extended to cover all types of medical reports for RTA-related personal injury claims under the Small Claims Track, medical experts across the country will be expected to report on cases that sit outside of their professional capacity, and are so far beyond their medical expertise that they are unable to comment authoritatively on them.