CLINICAL GOVERNANCE - LESSONS TO LEARN BEFORE IT GETS HERE - MEDICAL PRACTICE INDEMNITY! - Health Resource International West Africa (HRI)

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Monday, 12 June 2017

CLINICAL GOVERNANCE - LESSONS TO LEARN BEFORE IT GETS HERE - MEDICAL PRACTICE INDEMNITY!


Another international insurer quits SA medical risk market
JUNE 7TH, 2017 
 ‘Our research indicates that the cause of malpractice cases, and the need for improved risk management, arises throughout the healthcare delivery chain. Doctors are not (generally) sued for clinical errors, but for the perception of their treatment and their response in the context of the treatment outcomes.
‘When the matters reach litigation stages, further challenges arise with the relationship between doctor and patient and access to records that were generated many years before. The solution has to be founded in an integrated risk management solution,’ said Von Widdern.


female surgeon with her surgical team on background
South African medical practitioners have been hit by the sudden withdrawal by international insurer Chubb of medical professional indemnity cover, reports MedicalBrief. This follows upon a rash of withdrawals from the volatile medical risk market, as rocketing premiums endanger specialist medicine, especially in the obstetrics and gynaecology fields.
Chubb has advised doctors and allied healthcare practitioners that no new business will be quoted from June 1, while extensions will be offered only for professional renewing between June and end August. This effectively means that those with Chubb cover will retain indemnity protection until the end of their current policy and then will have to seek cover elsewhere, while those with impending renewals will have to act urgently to find an alternative insurer.
It follows on the withdrawal of other overseas-based medical risk insurers, Marketform and St Paul, as well as hospital underwriter Camargue, which is an agency of Mutual and Federal. Chubb did not respond to a request for comment. Nor did SA’s largest indemnity provider, the British-based discretionary mutual, the Medical Protection Society (MPS).
Volker von Widdern, managing director of Ethiqal medical protection, a product of SA’s Constantia Insurance, said it was ‘easy’ for international entities to ‘cut and run’ when conditions became tough.’Non-domiciled medical risk insurers take billions out of the local market every year and are not subject to SA’s strict financial service regulations in terms of solvency and financial transparency.’
Von Widdern said that the ‘dismay’ of medical professionals insured by Chubb was ‘understandable’. ‘It is worth noting that the cover provided by Chubb is on a “claims-made” basis. This means that these policyholders have no run off cover for adverse events that were not reported to Chubb in terms of their policy terms.’
‘MPS is a large UK based indemnity provider that is not licensed under SA’s Financial Services Board rules has increased premiums by 600% over the past five years, while local underwriters that previously entered the medical  market departed soon thereafter, creating more financial strain and uncertainty for medical practitioners.’
Von Widdern slated the practice of some medical risk insurers to ‘pick and choose’ medical practices to their liking. ‘The standard insurance model of either withdrawing cover or increasing premiums (or both) in periods of perceived high risk must be adapted in collaboration with the practitioner community, so that a sustainable basis for providing indemnity to practitioners is developed. For example, a substantial number of SA’s obstetricians and gynaes are now underwritten locally by ourselves through EthiQal, at substantially lower prices that were previously available.
‘Our research indicates that the cause of malpractice cases, and the need for improved risk management, arises throughout the healthcare delivery chain. Doctors are not (generally) sued for clinical errors, but for the perception of their treatment and their response in the context of the treatment outcomes.
‘When the matters reach litigation stages, further challenges arise with the relationship between doctor and patient and access to records that were generated many years before. The solution has to be founded in an integrated risk management solution,’ said Von Widdern.''

Joseph Ana.

Africa Center for Clin Gov Research & Patient Safety
@ HRI West Africa Group - HRI WA
Consultants in Clinical Governance Implementation
Publisher: Health and Medical Journals 
8 Amaku Street Housing Estate, Calabar
Cross River State, Nigeria
Phone No. +234 (0) 8063600642


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