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Medicus Matters December Issue

The shift from Mutual Society provided professional indemnity cover to an Insurance product based professional indemnity cover (such as that provided by Medicus) is a significant but important one. A financial transaction with the Insurance company is at the heart of things and makes the signing on and renewal of cover rather more pedantic, and possibly frustrating than may be the case for a Mutual Society, where some lenience may be tolerated.

Accuracy and timeliness around the provision of personal details and change in circumstances and claims history is critical. This is particularly important at the time of policy renewal. But on the upside, and insurance product offers greater certainty around just what will be provided should the need arise. Historically, and with the advent of ACC, NZ health professionals have really only required legal advice from their indemnity provider. But what about any awards of compensation, awards of damages, court costs etc. These are all relatively new arrivals on the scene for health professionals facing complaints. Their payment by a Mutual Society is discretionary. Payment by an Insurance company is contractual. Therein lies the reason for health professionals to consider which type of cover they require for the coming years.

We have been delighted to welcome to our membership significant numbers of medical students and Junior medical doctors over the last 12 months. Indeed, Te Whatu Ora in their Canterbury and West Coast division have recently declared Medicus to be their preferred provider of professional indemnity for their RMOs. This has not only brough cost savings to Te Whatu Ora, but has ensured their doctors have a superior level of professional indemnity cover for the future. We welcome these new members and the recognition that the medico-legal landscape in New Zealand is changing and will continue to change.

Some of you will know Ross Blair, retired Thoracic and Vascular surgeon from Waikato Hospital and Chair of the Medicus Board from its formation in 2011 to 2019. Ross has this year retired from the Board and I know many of you will join other Board Members in thanking him for his service to Medicus and the wider profession over many years. Ross remains in good health and we wish him well for the coming years.

2023 will not have been an easy year for many of you, and the future will not immediately be different. It remains for me to simply wish you all a very safe, relaxing and happy holiday period spent with friends and family.

Download the full newsletter here.

Medicus Matters December
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