Medical Indemnity Insurance – How It Effects You
Doctors and medical experts have long been considered a necessity within societies and without them even the simplest treatments may be overlooked to the detriment of a patient. As technologies have advanced over the past few decades, so to have the options available to patients when it comes to gaining compensation if their treatment or surgery doesn’t go according to plan. Although patients may suffer extensively if their treatment fails, this isn’t to say that the doctor doesn’t lose out too, not only emotionally but financially if they are not properly insured..
That’s where medical indemnity insurance comes in very handy, particularly if a patient becomes the subject of an accident of injury whilst undergoing treatment. As with most insurance policies, medical indemnity cover will provide a financial option should a case be undertaken against a doctor, nurse, surgeon or other medical expert. The reason for these cases will range in severity, from a minor infection that can be overcome in time and with the correct treatment, all the way to injury or death as a result of therapy or surgery. As a result, the Department of Health in Australia offers medical professionals the option to insure their actions against financial claims with a total value of $20 million, although in extreme cases this number can be increased to protect the doctor.
Most cases can be settled out of court and over 60% of them have been since the introduction of medical indemnity insurance. For larger scale cases where long term injuries or fatalities have been suffered, doctors and medical professionals may be required to attend court hearings, hire solicitors and provide evidence in front of a judge or barrister. These instances aren’t just very time consuming, they can often be vastly expensive too, not to mention the emotional trauma involved for the patient, their family and the medical expert being prosecuted.
With so many varying factors to consider, the support provided by a medical indemnity insurer can make all the difference. The Department of Health governs the activities of 5 medical indemnity insurers within Australia, those being Avant, INVIVO, MDA National, MIGA and MIPS. These insurers will provide packages based on programs as defined by the Department of Health, and these programs typically include assistance to doctors in need of medical indemnity funding, as well as the continued provision of indemnity cover both before and after an event
As a result of the above scheme, the Department of Health will guarantee to pay the costs of medical bills, liabilities, court fees and more on behalf of the doctor, including compensation to the afflicted party if required. In high-cost claims, the insurer can expect a reimbursement of 50% of the total sum of their pay out from the Department of Health, up to $300’000, although the doctor will be covered entirely by the initial financial output.