Indemnity reform - another missed opportunity

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Thursday, 6 December 2018

Following today’s announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care launching a consultation on the regulation of clinical negligence indemnity cover, MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny said:

“This consultation is yet another missed opportunity to tackle the real issues that drive rising costs for healthcare professionals.

“Instead of supporting choice and proposing concrete actions on legal reform that would make a real difference, the Government is seeking to impose a cost increase on health professionals by moving to an insurance based model that will attract a 12% insurance premium tax.

“Patients will not be better protected – the document acknowledges that there is no evidence of harm in the UK from the current discretionary model. Doctors and dentists will gain no benefit. The only winner is the Treasury with its additional 12% premium tax income.

“In short, there is little evidence to support the proposals, nor indeed that there is a real problem to be resolved other than increasing competition and transparency. There does need to be consistent financial data from all participants in the market and there’s a case for access to the Financial Ombudsman in the event of disputes. These disproportionate proposals totally miss these opportunities to make a real difference quickly.

"We can at least welcome the fact that Government is consulting properly on this issue in a way that it has not done elsewhere. We therefore urge clinicians, their representative bodies and the devolved administrations to follow MDDUS’ lead and respond strongly to Government to urge them to focus on where change is really needed.

“But we will not let this unnecessary distraction interfere with our vital work of supporting our members day in and day out. We are ready and able to continue to offer them excellent service and value for money no matter how this consultation ends.”

Ends

For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0333 0434444 or 07976 272266, or email rihendry@mddus.com.

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is the UK’s fastest growing medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. Chris Kenny has been Chief Executive of MDDUS since 2015. Prior to that Chris was Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board for England and Wales, the overarching legal services regulator in England and Wales, which led the introduction of new competitive models in the legal market. For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com.

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