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Fourteen doctors removed over indemnity requirements

Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of indemnity cover led to 14 doctors being removed from the medical register in 2018.

The Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017 introduced new legal requirements for all doctors registered or applying to register with the Council regarding levels of professional medical indemnity.

In May 2018, the Council highlighted the new legal provisions in tandem with the opening of the annual retention period.

At the time, the Council pointed out that most practitioners would already have professional indemnity and the only change for these doctors would be completing the appropriate declaration and, in some cases, providing a copy of their indemnity cover certificate to the Council.

In addition, the Council noted that some practitioners would have to review their level of indemnity to ensure they had the correct cover for their scope of practice.

“All doctors retaining their registration at 1 July 2018 were required to provide the Council with a declaration as to their practice arrangement,” according to the Council’s 2018 annual report.

“Dependent upon that declaration, some 6,500 doctors were then required to provide a copy of their indemnity certificate to the Council.  The Council then verified the level of cover set out in the certificate provided met the levels set by the State Claims Agency. Failure to provide satisfactory evidence, pertaining to indemnity cover, led to 14 doctors being removed from the register in 2018.”

According to the regulator, professional indemnity will protect the practitioner against claims arising in respect of medical malpractice, negligence and other civil claims that arise from a breach of duty associated with their practice as a doctor.

Professional indemnity for the purposes of the Act is concerned with insurance cover for potential negligence actions only. The Council has asked doctors to “bear in mind” that the Clinical Indemnity Scheme does not cover complaints made to the Medical Council under Parts 7, 8 or 9 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 and “you should consider taking out a policy of indemnity to cover complaints before the Medical Council”.

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