What is the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC)?

As we’ve previously blogged about, medical malpractice lawsuits are much different than most personal injury lawsuits.

Medical malpractice proceedings are exceptionally complex, raise challenging medical and legal issues, and involve powerful players such as the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), which defends doctors in malpractice claims, and the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC), which defends other healthcare providers, including hospitals and nurses.

The combined resources of the CMPA and HIROC make it challenging for injured patients (or their families) to pursue a medical malpractice claim unless they have assistance from recognized and reputable medical malpractice lawyers who have many years of experience assisting clients through the often-daunting and emotional process of litigating such claims.

HIROC: Some Facts

HIROC is a self-administered liability insurance plan, operating on a not-for-profit basis, providing their members with protection against liability and risk including medical malpractice claims.

Organizations that subscribe to HIROC include hospitals, nursing homes, community health centers, and homecare providers. These organizations collectively pool their resources and share liabilities. HIROC coverage protects both the subscribing organization (i.e.- the hospital or nursing home) as well as each of that organization’s employees (i.e.- the nurses or other workers).

If a HIROC subscriber is the subject of a medical malpractice, or other legal claim, the claim is reported to HIROC. All costs associated with defending the claim are then covered by HIROC. HIROC assembles a team of experts to assess the claim, and a lawyer (or multiple lawyers) to represent the parties against whom it is filed. HIROC often retains lawyers with considerable experience in healthcare, and often uses the services of some of Canada’s largest healthcare law firms.

Due to the complex nature of medical malpractice claims, and the enormous resources of the CMPA and HIROC, these lawsuits can quickly become very expensive. Lawyers for injured patients must retain their own medical and other experts (often more than one), must possess an in-depth understanding of the healthcare system, and must have deep combined knowledge of both the medical and legal worlds.

If you or your child have been seriously injured due to negligence or medical error, contact Sommers Roth & Elmaleh. We are not afraid to take on HIROC, the CMPA, and the medical profession. Our lawyers are immensely well-respected in both the legal and medical communities. We are regularly consulted by other lawyers who seek our authoritative opinions on medical malpractice and pediatric malpractice cases. We help clients in Toronto, and Ontario, as well as across the country. Call us at 1-416-961-1212 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Disclaimer and Liability Exclusion

The information on this page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers should seek specific legal advice regarding any specific legal issues. We do not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information on this page. The posts on this page are current as of their original date of publication, but they should not be relied upon as timely, accurate or fit for any particular purpose.

Accessing or using this web site or the content herein does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

This page may contain links to third party web sites. We are unable to, and do not, monitor and guarantee the quality of the information disseminated and accessible through those links, which are provided for convenience only. We do not endorse the information contained in linked web sites nor guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or fitness for a particular purpose.

If you have been affected by medical malpractice in Canada
Contact Us


Please provide us a summary of your case. A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry.