Tego provides specialised medical indemnity insurance for doctors in Australia. The insurance includes 24/7 medico legal advice giving doctors access to highly experienced medical lawyers.
All medical indemnity insurance in Australia must meet the minimum product standards prescribed in the Commonwealth Medical Indemnity (Prudential Supervision and Product Standards) Act 2003.
Under the Australian National Law, all practising medical practitioners must have medical indemnity insurance in place or otherwise be indemnified for their entire scope of practice, whether via their employer’s indemnity arrangements or through their own medical indemnity insurer. This means it is mandatory for all doctors in private practice to have their own medical indemnity insurance in Australia. It is also a requirement for registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA).
Medical indemnity insurance in Australia typically provide $20 million cover, however different policies apply different sub-limits to non-civil claims – meaning that specific cover will vary between policies. Some policies, not all, also include cover for exposures such as costs towards protecting your reputation (eg. in the event of adverse social media) and pursuing or defending defamation claims, Medicare audits, tax audits, employment disputes, as well as cover for statutory penalties (such as privacy breaches) and loss of income if you are required to attend court.
Medical indemnity insurance in Australia is provided on a ‘claims made’ basis, which means you are required to notify your insurer as soon as you become aware of a claim (or of circumstances which a reasonable person would expect may result in a claim). Any claims made under one policy will continue to be covered by that policy even if you switch insurers.
It is also a requirement that your insurance includes adequate retroactive cover for all prior practice in Australia, so it is important you check the retroactive date under your policy (also known as “tail cover”).
Medical Indemnity Insurance in Australia for overseas doctors.
For doctors, moving to a new country is a daunting prospect and as a qualified doctor heading for Australia there are several things you should consider in time for your arrival:
There are a few stages to the process of registration so it is important to get started in good time and make sure you have appropriate medical indemnity insurance from an approved medical indemnity insurer in Australia. Firstly, you need to have your qualifications formally recognised in Australia by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). They assess the clinical skills, knowledge and other professional attributes of medical practitioners qualified overseas and their recognition of your medical education is the first step to practising in Australia. You will need to complete an assessment by a specialist medical college which will consider the comparability of your skills and education with that of an Australian-trained doctor. This will include both training and clinical experience. It is also necessary to obtain approval from the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This is the final confirmation of competence to practice at the desired level in Australia.
It’s important to remember that you are not just moving to another country to work, you may also be moving into a new culture or language. The Australian Values Statement is part of the application for permanent residency but even if you are only coming on a sponsored working visa it is a sensible idea to familiarise yourself with it. This will help you settle into your new lifestyle and workplace comfortably. You may also want to read up on particulars of Australian medical practice, particularly expressions and terminology, to avoid any lost in translation moments. A good starting point for that is the Australian Medicines Handbook.
Doctors working in the private sector are required by law to hold their own medical indemnity insurance in Australia. It is highly recommended that you seek the independent expertise of an insurance broker who can help you compare the options available and make sure you find appropriate cover. The Australian Government Department of Health provides a list of the five medical indemnity insurers in Australia.
The last step is to register with the medical college, society or organisation which focuses on your practice specialty to keep up to date with industry news via events, regular publications and access to content online. Not only will this help you stay on top of the latest professional matters but it will provide you with access to a social and support network of your fellow doctors.