Medical Indemnity Overseas

The General Medical Council (GMC) state the following;

You must make sure you have adequate insurance or indemnity cover so that your patients will not be disadvantaged if they make a claim about the clinical care you have provided…

At present, there are no express statutory requirements or provisions dealing with professional indemnity arrangements for registered medical practitioners in most countries, however we recommend you expressly check the indemnity scheme at your chosen hospital to determine whether cover is available for medical negligence claims which arise out of your contracted duties.

Below are examples of claims not covered by in-house indemnity schemes;

  • Defence of medical staff in medical council disciplinary proceedings for stopping at a roadside accident, and other good Samaritan acts not listed in your contract
  • Clinical trials not covered under legislation
  • Work for any outside agency on a contractual basis
  • Work for voluntary or charitable bodies
  • Work overseas

Below are a example of the number of indemnity claims made in Australia and New Zealand:

AUSTRALIA

In June 2013, the Australian government published data on medical indemnity claims in 2011-12. There were more new and closed claims within the private sector (about 1,750 in both case), than the public sector (around 1,300 in both cases. Around half of closed claims (54%) were for AUD 10,000 or less, compared with 41% that were settled for between AUD 10,000 and AUD 500,000 and 5% that were for over AUD 500,000.

NEW ZEALAND

The New Zealand Medical Association provides data on medical claims. Complaints can be made to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) or the Health and Disability Commission (HDC). The data for 2010 shows that 5,210 complaints were made to the ACC, of which 12 were referred to the NZ Medical Council; and 1,573 compaints were made to the HDC of which 43 were referred to the NZ Medical Council.

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