21 May 2024

Government announcement regarding clinical negligence cover

Government announcement regarding clinical negligence cover

Providing very little substance

The recent Government announcement regarding clinical negligence cover system reforms unfortunately provides very little of substance. There were high hopes, given the length of time this was being reviewed, that a long term vision would have been adopted to align our system with the vast majority of the rest of the world. Alas , I have been left bewildered at the recommendation of a sector-led Code of Practice for the MDO’s, to improve transparency!  That’s right, over discretionary cover.  It seems to be more of a gloss-over, which I am not entirely surprised by.  However, this continues to leave surgeons in a grey area of coverage, with the security of themselves and their patients at potentially at risk.

Little regulation & accountability

Remember, discretionary indemnity is exactly as it says, discretionary.  A transparent Code of Practice whereby the providers of the cover are not regulated or as accountable as the insurance providers in the same market seems rather pointless.  The MDO’s are still able to act on their own discretion and are able to refuse to accept or pay claims, even if now they have to potentially give you a reason why.  There is no robust contractual recourse on offer for a surgeon or healthcare professional to dispute this, unlike in the insurance market.  A sensible outcome would have been to transfer responsibility of regulation over to the FCA and thereby install requirements upon the defence bodies, both for conduct and fiscally.

A robust and clear cover is required

At MIC we still advocate for a fairer system for surgeons to ensure cover is robust and clear for all.

You can read the published statement by clicking here.

If you would like to discuss your requirements further please contact MIC on 0800 163870

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