After more than a decade of relative stability there are some changes ahead for you and the medical indemnity insurance industry.

In MIGA’s February 2017 Bulletin we advised of a major change where the Federal Government is increasing the High Cost Claim Scheme (HCCS) threshold, with it moving from $300k to $500k per claim with effect 1 July 2018.

In addition there are a couple of other important developments that you should be aware of, as follows:

  • The Federal Government is currently undertaking a major review of all of the medical indemnity and professional indemnity legislation and the schemes which support your medical indemnity insurance
    • This is in response to the outcome of a Commission of Audit Report and an Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audit report, both of which recommended the Government consider reducing its assistance via the various schemes. The ANAO recommended that a first principles review should be undertaken
    • In addition, the Commonwealth is due to undertake a Thematic Review which will involve an assessment of the need and purpose of the legislation
    • MIGA is actively involved in these reviews.
  • NDIS and NIIS
    • The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has recently announced a decision to not proceed with incorporating a medical treatment stream in State based National Injury Insurance Schemes (NIIS), at this time
      • This is because it was acknowledged that funding for no-fault coverage of catastrophic injuries following medical treatment is more complex than for other accidents
      • What this will mean is that many matters that might have been covered by State based NIIS will now be covered by the NDIS
    • The Productivity Commission has recently released a Paper raising concerns about how the non-implementation of NIIS medical injury streams will affect NDIS costs and is seeking input on who should bear the consequential increase in NDIS costs
    • MIGA believes that the profession should not bear these costs and also remains concerned about the increased potential for recovery actions by the NDIS against doctors and their insurers and increased costs as a result.

As a mutual organisation, MIGA is different from other insurers, a key priority for us is representing your interests and protecting them.

We would like to assure you that:

  • We believe it is important to constructively engage with the Federal Government and other stakeholders to ensure a whole of system approach to the review of the indemnity insurance schemes and we are actively working on your behalf to address these matters in an open, fair and constructive way
  • We believe much of the current medical indemnity support framework should remain intact as it maintains the affordability of medical and professional indemnity insurance, and provides security not just for the profession but also for patients
  • We do not believe that the medical profession should bear additional costs in funding for the NDIS.

MIGA is acutely aware of the importance of there being a balance between the interests of our members in having affordable and secure medical indemnity insurance, and the intent of the Federal Government to lessen the level of financial support for the industry.

As a result of our engagement strategy, we are representing our members’ and clients’ interests. We will continue to advocate on your behalf and work to achieve outcomes that are fair and reasonable.

We will keep you informed about the matters under review and further changes to the Federal Government indemnity schemes via our Bulletins and website.

Prefer to read a PDF of the Bulletin? Download it here

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