With the pandemic disrupting so much of the healthcare industry and changing the way some practices and procedures are carried out, now is the time to take stock of existing commercial contractual arrangements, whether your organisation is the purchaser or supplier.
Whether a contract can be terminated, or is able to be delayed or suspended due to the effects of COVID-19 will depend on a combination of contractual terms, common law and legislation. This can be a complicated area so it is important these reviews are carried out by qualified legal practitioners.
Review Standard Agreements
Review any standard contracts used by your organisation, in light of challenges encountered due to COVID-19. Standard contracts that will benefit from a review could include:
- Resident and client agreements
- Service agreements
- Brokerage agreements
- Purchase agreements
Consider, for example: Has there been any tension between the terms of your agreements, and Government guidelines and mandates regarding social distancing and prohibition of mass gatherings (etc)? What flexibility do you want in the event of future incidents and disruptions?
Did force majeure or frustration come into play?
Also take the opportunity to review your contracts more generally, as there is rarely a convenient time to undertake this important ‘housekeeping’ task. Are there aspects which have not been fulfilling operational needs as effectively as desired? Have parts become outdated due to changes in the law?
If your medical practice or clinic is a significant purchaser of goods and services, review your standard purchasing terms and conditions, if any (or introduce some, if you do not currently have any).
One important legal issue: Your Property- Are you a landlord or a lessee?
For medical practices and clinics who either occupy space as a lessee (perhaps office space, or home care shopfronts) or lease premises to residents outside of the usual aged care/retirement living setting (for example, as community housing under the residential tenancies legislation) there are a whole extra set of challenges currently being faced.
Tego Insurance – Supporting Medical Practice
As experienced Australian medical indemnity insurance providers, we cover your practice with medical indemnity insurance, doctors indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance, medical practice insurance, gp medical indemnity insurance, etc. If you are a health practitioner with Tego Insurance, your medical indemnity insurance comes with 24/7 medico-legal advice and support to guide you through how Covid 19 has affected your practice.
This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitutes 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.
All content on this page has been written in a generic way, and has not been presented with any knowledge of your personal objectives or financial needs.