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01 Sep 2017

AMA President Dr Michael Gannon used his National Press Club address to assure doctors and patients alike that he was keeping the issue of medical indemnity at the forefront of his discussions with political leaders.

He said medical indemnity was an area of great concern to the medical profession that has recently re-emerged.

“Some of you may remember the indemnity crisis more than a decade ago. The reforms and protections put in place by then Health Minister Tony Abbott are showing signs of stress,” Dr Gannon said.

“While back in the UK recently, I saw what could happen here again without intelligent policy.

“Medical indemnity in the UK is becoming unstable. The two major providers have pulled out of private obstetrics. There is talk of pulling out of coverage in other high risk areas.”

Dr Gannon noted that more than a decade ago, the AMA advocated tirelessly and brought together the profession to work with the Government in designing a series of schemes that have been a resounding policy success.

Those schemes have promoted stability. They provide affordable insurance, which flows through to affordable care.

That has been the AMA’s strong message heading into the current review of indemnity insurance. 

“Thankfully, the Government has been receptive to our advice, and I am grateful to Health Minister Greg Hunt for listening,” he said.

“He was surprised to hear that annual premiums got as high as $126,000 a few years ago. And that’s after the support schemes’ contributions are taken into account.

“We now have a review that is focussed on improving and building on the current policy success. It is not a savings exercise.

“It removes a threat to a stable medical workforce.”


Published: 01 Sep 2017