Under Australian law, every registered medical practitioner must be insured under a medical defence organisation (MDO) to cover us in the event of complaints against us by patients.
There are a number of AHPRA-approved MDOs including Avant, Tego, MIGA, MDA National and MIPS. All provide cover for litigation which includes ‘run-off’ cover for the statutory period for claims after a doctor retires. But is that all?
Services your MDO may also provide
- general advice for clinical practice on subjects such as
- writing medico-legal letters
- being an expert witness in court
- handling confidentiality
- managing patient records etc;
- legal support in disputes with your hospital, training college or employer;
- after-hours support and advice;
- practice management and risk management tools and training;
- education on issues such as social media management, telehealth, patient boundaries etc; and
- peer support services and activities to promote wellbeing.
Many of us take out MDO cover but have little or no idea what our policies cover. Take the time to read through your policy document – it comes with your renewal every year – and familiarise yourself. After all, premiums are high, so better use of your MDO’s services makes better use of that money.
Services will vary between companies, but there are bound to be more ways you can use your insurer and justify your premium – read your insurance policy material and website and find out more.