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  1. 1. In the summer of the year 2010, the Health Practitioners Regulation National Law mandated that all practising nursing professionals and midwives carry sufficient medical indemnity insurance cover. The updated legislation also clearly stated that generalpractice nursing professionals could be heldresponsible, at worst negligent, in the event of a public liability lawsuit as a result of an alleged medical negligence incident. According to government law, general practice nurses that do not have the proper medical indemnity cover may potentially face charges of unprofessional conduct. Nevertheless, in reality, recorded circumstances of medical professionals addressing such severe accusations are quite rare, if not wholly unheard of, giventhe proliferation of countless choice medical
  2. 2. indemnity policies available to theAustralian healthcare community nowadays.visit homepage
  3. 3. Professional indemnity insurance for nurses all but assures that generalpractice nurses will have more than adequate cover in the event of anaccidental medical mishap during a doctor-approved prudent course oftreatment, whether procedural, diagnostic or post-operative In fact, theAustralian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) has cautioned its membersthat the most common staff and entity policies and practice policies offered byhealthcare employers (i e private clinics and public hospitals) simply will notsuffice in the event of a serious allegation of malpractice
  4. 4. The frank truth of the matter is that an employers vicarious liability, alsoknown as secondary liability in civil discourse, will not extend to claims leviedagainst general practice nurses or other healthcare staff individually Theemployer only assumes liability up to a certain point, defined by the amount ofmonetary damages an indemnity policy will remit In essence, general practicenurses are subject to the same visit homepage legal scrutiny as generalpractitioners and specialists such as gynaecologists and obstetricians— the two spheres of medicine most often implicated in malpracticelawsuits according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfares mostrecently available statistics The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  5. 5. published its most recent collection of data in the latter portion of 2011 for theyears 2008 and 2009
  6. 6. A total of 9,173 medical indemnity claims were logged to the institute 5,072such claims arose from the public sector, and 4,101 indemnity claims arosefrom the private sector Interestingly, the total number of claims increased overthe previous year, which documented a total of 8,555 claims As previouslymentioned, the three most implicated practitioners in indemnity lawsuitsincluded obstetricians, gynaecologists and general practitioners, traditionallythe most implicated of all medical professionals in civil liability claims
  7. 7. General practice nurses who are interested in acquiring supplementalmedical indemnity insurance in the near future would do well to recognize thatmore than half of all claims reported to the Australian Institute of Health andWelfare originated from public sector healthcare facilities Private practicesaccounted for only 38% of all claims According to the APNA, general practicenurses should also remain aware of the scope of their medical expertise,however limited it may be
  8. 8. Treatment and procedural complaints accounted for 44% of all claims loggedto the Institute of Health and Welfare from 2008-2009 In light of thesestatistics, the APNA, among other similar healthcare profession organizations,has strongly advised general practice nurses against providing medical carebeyond their specific discipline Professional indemnity insurance for nurseseven covers non-clinical healthcare provisions which may not be coveredunder an employers practice policy
  9. 9. Given the proper insurance cover, 96% of all indemnity claims in Australia aresettled for less than $10,000; however, the remaining 4% can award damagesin excess of $500,000 The APNA has thus recommended that potentialmembers thoroughly review an indemnity policys product disclosure statementin order to determine whether the insurance cover in question truly isappropriate to a specific medical discipline
  10. 10. visit homepage