9 Tips that will help you avoid a Medical Indemnity Insurance Claim

In Australia, there is an increasing need for medical practitioners, medical centres and day clinics to have medical indemnity insurance. With the ever changing healthcare industry, doctors and health administrators need choice, innovation and greater flexibility in protecting their business.

Doctors need Medical Indemnity Insurance

An average of 11 Australian medical practitioners a day face allegations that result in a medical indemnity insurance claim, according to recent figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The figures show private-practice medical indemnity claims considerably exceed public claims.

Here are the top 15 specialty areas that medical practitioners deal with Medical Indemnity claims and costs. These medical practices are closely involved in incidents that led to new medical indemnity claims in recent years.

  1.    General practice
  2.    General surgery
  3.    Orthopaedic surgery
  4.    Obstetrics and gynaecology
  5.    Emergency medicine
  6.    Anaesthesia
  7.    Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  8.    Psychiatry
  9.    Diagnostic radiology
  10.    Cardiology
  11.    Gynaecology only
  12.    Ophthalmology
  13.    General medicine
  14.    Neurosurgery
  15.    Paediatrics

Medical Indemnity Claim Tips

Here are 9 common sense tips to help you avoid a medical indemnity claim, as well as the stress and aggravation that come with it.

  1. Facilitate coordination and continuity of care when appropriate, while consider the balance of benefit and harm in all clinical-management decisions
  2. Be certain to refer the patient to another practitioner if it is in their best interests and always support their right to seek another opinion
  3. Ensure that you take a full patient history that includes relevant psychological, social and cultural considerations.
  4. Recognise and respect the patient’s right to make their own decisions and encourage them to take an interest in, and responsibility for, the management of their health
  5. Acknowledge and work within the limits of your scope of practice and competency
  6. Maintain adequate records and communicate effectively with your patients.
  7. Take steps to alleviate patient symptoms and distress, whether or not a cure is possible.
  8. Make responsible and effective use of the resources available to you.
  9. Ensure that your personal views do not adversely affect the care of your patient.

Source:  Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia, published by the Medical Board of Australia.

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss su­ffered in connection with the use of this information.