The benefits of membership
Our whole ethos is focused on putting your needs first. Every day we help members deal with difficult issues arising from their clinical practice, whether they be regulators challenging their professional competence, or patients making complaints or claims for clinical negligence. Just as you do with your own patients, we can provide expertise, reassurance and support to help you through the relevant processes and see things to a resolution.
MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
MPS indemnity and representation
You can request assistance with any action, proceeding, claim or demand arising from your professional practice including:
Clinical negligence claims
Worldwide, this represents about 20% of our caseload, but accounts for the largest proportion of annual expenditure. When we take on a claim, we can manage it from first notification to conclusion, and can take care of all the legal costs and compensation payments.
We can provide advice and legal representation for regulatory council inquiries arising from health, performance, and professional conduct. We can help you from the outset, whether it be drafting a letter or providing high-calibre legal representation at a full hearing.
We can provide advice and representation if you face allegations arising from the provision of clinical care to patients, concerning your professional conduct, competence and performance, or in relation to health problems that are having a significant effect on your clinical performance.
Preparing for inquests
We can help you prepare a report for the coroner and advise you on how to conduct yourself at the inquest. If necessary, we can arrange for legal representation on your behalf.
We can help if you become the subject of criminal investigations that arise directly from your provision of clinical care to patients. This includes investigation or prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter. We can also help if you face an allegation of indecent or sexual assault – if that arises from your bona fide clinical practice. It is unlikely that we would assist where the allegations arise from personal conduct.
Indemnity for Good Samaritan acts
A Good Samaritan act is one in which medical assistance is given, free of charge, in a bona fide medical emergency upon which you may chance, in a personal as opposed to a professional capacity. Examples include roadside accidents and emergencies at public events you attend as a spectator. In the unlikely event that legal proceedings follow, you would be entitled to ask for assistance, no matter in which country the legal proceedings are commenced.
Medicolegal advisory service
You can phone or email us for advice to help resolve the many dilemmas that can arise from everyday practice. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for urgent advice. Requests for medicolegal assistance can be directed to a toll-free advice line (0800 982 766) and email address (email@example.com).
There is also an incident reporting form available at www.mps-group.org/za-mla. The form is secure and confidential allowing you to give us your membership details and a brief explanation of the incident. This direct access is underpinned by our established panel of local expert lawyers and experienced medicolegal advisers.
We can help you formulate a response to a complaint and assist and support you through to its resolution. We can work with you to look at why complaints arise and how to minimise the risks of recurrence.
Handling media attention
If you attract adverse publicity, we can issue press statements and act as spokesperson to the media to shield you as far as possible from having to deal directly with the press.
Counselling and support
We offer access to a 24/7 counselling service if you are suffering from stress and anxiety as a result of situations such as complaints, claims, or disciplinary or a HPCSA investigation. It is an independent service tailored to your requirements and delivered by fully trained, qualified and registered psychologists and counsellors. The service is entirely independent and confidential – MPS is not informed of the details of consultations – and accessing the service is via the relevant medicolegal case handler, who will be able to provide the service’s freephone number.
Working in another country
MPS has members in many countries around the world and you may be able to continue membership with us if you decide to work overseas. Please check with our Membership Helpline on 0800 225 677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before travelling, to ensure that you have appropriate indemnity arrangements. This is particularly important because some countries – for example, Australia and Germany – have a legal requirement that all healthcare practitioners have insurance-based indemnity.
Education and publications
MPS strongly believes in the preventative value of education and risk management. We are committed to helping you avoid problems, allowing you to provide the best possible care for your patients. We have a wealth of experience and expertise in helping doctors and other healthcare professionals to reduce the risks that arise from your practice.
The educational programmes provided by MPS are based on more than 120 years experience and expertise in this field, and concentrate on the following topics:
- Good medical practice
- Communication skills
- Medical record keeping.
As an MPS member you can also access our E-learning platform, which contains a series of interactive case reports suitable for doctors at all levels.
MPS produces a range of serial publications and tailored e-newsletters to meet your needs:
- Casebook, our flagship journal, promotes safer practice through in-depth medicolegal and ethics based articles, and case reports based on real MPS cases.
- Junior Doctor offers professional support to senior medical students, interns, community service medical officers, registrars and medical officers.
- Practice Matters offers professional support and expert advice for GPs and practice staff.
- MPS Update, a regular e-newsletter, that provides up to date news on medicolegal developments.