MDDUS CEO Chris Kenny has challenged the Government to stop "tiptoeing around reform" and overhaul the way personal injury compensation is awarded in England and Wales.
His comments are in response to figures obtained by the BBC in a freedom of information request which show that the NHS faces a pay out £4.3bn in legal fees to settle outstanding claims of clinical negligence.
Estimates have put the total cost of outstanding compensation claims at £83bn. The Department of Health has pledged to tackle this "unsustainable rise in the cost of clinical negligence".
Chris Kenny commented: "There is ample evidence from the US and Australia that legal reform can protect doctors and hospitals from unjustified claims, whilst ensuring patients with legitimate grievances are compensated.
"It’s time that Government acted decisively on that evidence instead of tiptoeing around reform for fear of the legal lobby.
"We absolutely acknowledge that there must be reasonable compensation for patients harmed through clinical negligence, but this needs to be balanced by society’s ability to pay.
"Reform would ensure a fairer system all round, freeing up money to be spent on front-line care."