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Medical Protection welcomes new requirements on compulsory professional indemnity

14 November 2017

The new legal requirement for doctors to supply evidence of their professional indemnity, and ensure their indemnity arrangement complies with new requirements set out by the State Claims Agency, has been welcomed by Medical Protection – the leading medical protection organisation in Ireland.

The Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017, which came into effect on 6 November, makes it mandatory for all doctors in Ireland to provide evidence to the Medical Council that they have adequate indemnity which protects them from clinical negligence claims and meets requirements set out by the State Claims Agency (SCA).

The new SCA requirements specify that all doctors need to ensure they would be protected against claims up to at least €10million. For some specialties this requirement is set even higher. For example, those working in obstetrics & gynaecology who have a limit of under €30million written into their indemnity arrangement or insurance policy will not be considered adequately protected.

If doctors cannot demonstrate that they are adequately protected – when applying to join the medical register or on renewal – they will not be placed on the medical register and will not be able to practice medicine in Ireland.

Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection, said:

“The cost of clinical negligence claims is continuing to rise and it is vital that doctors have adequate indemnity arrangements in place. The new legal requirements provide welcome additional assurance on this for both doctors and patients.

“Medical Protection members can be reassured that their indemnity arrangement complies with the requirements set out by the State Claims Agency. Indeed, our occurrence-based protection does not put a financial limit on the indemnity that we can provide.

“We are a not-for-profit membership organisation, not an insurance company, and our focus is on our long-term commitment to our members, not short-term profits for shareholders.

“Our membership benefits also go beyond indemnity for claims – members can request advice and support on complaints, investigations by the Medical Council, disciplinary proceedings, and other matters.

“Any Medical Protection members with questions about their membership or the new legal requirements can contact us to discuss these.”

END

Notes to editors

  • The requirements within the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017 came into effect on 6 November 2017 and were published on the Medical Council website.
  • Further details will be published on the State Claims Agency website today (14 November).  
  • Current registered doctors and new applicants to the Medical Council must possess professional medical indemnity that complies with the State Claims Agency’s requirements.
  • New applicants to the Medical Council must provide evidence of professional medical indemnity on application. Doctors will not be placed on the register unless this evidence is provided.
  • Doctors currently registered with the Medical Council will be asked to confirm their professional indemnity arrangements at the renewal of their registration in June 2018, and further communication will be issued closer to that time.
  • Hospital doctors in Ireland are covered by the Clinical Indemnity Scheme (CIS), for clinical negligence claims relating to their work in the public sector. For support with claims relating to any private work, investigations or disciplinary proceedings, hospital doctors make their own arrangements with a medical defence organisation such as Medical Protection. Read more about the differences between CIS and Medical Protection’s membership.

For further information, contact Suzi Salleh at Medical Protection on +44 (0)20 7640 5119 or email suzi.salleh@medicalprotection.org

About Medical Protection Society in Ireland

The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. With more than 16,000 members in Ireland our knowledge and experience of the medicolegal environment globally puts us in a strong position to advise and inform policy makers.

Membership provides access to expert advice and support together with the right to request indemnity for complaints or claims arising from professional practice.   

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

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.