Avant Mutual Group has welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s commitment in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) to maintaining and improving the medical indemnity schemes.
The Government commissioned a first principles review earlier in the year which acknowledged the schemes’ benefits and recommended that they continue, and the Government’s response in the MYEFO supports the review’s conclusion.
“Avant’s position has always been that the medical indemnity schemes have served the Australian community well since they were introduced in the crisis of the early 2000s,” said Dr Penny Browne, Chief Medical Officer, Avant Mutual Group.
“Doctors have been able to access medical indemnity cover and the schemes have contributed to stability in doctors’ premiums, which have helped maintain patient access to services.
“Avant has been an active participant in the Department of Health’s consultation on the future of the schemes and we will continue to work with stakeholders as the legislation is developed in 2019,” said Dr Browne.
Key aspects of the Government’s announcement are:
- The Government will legislate to ensure a level playing field, by ensuring that all insurers accessing the medical indemnity schemes are subject to the same requirements including the obligation to provide indemnity cover to any doctor who requires insurance in line with legislated “universal cover” provisions.
- The Premium Support Scheme (PSS) is currently administered via contracts with four medical indemnity insurers (including Avant), which includes their obligation to participate in universal cover. These contracts will cease and the PSS and universal cover obligations will be embedded in legislation to apply across the market.
- The Government’s support for the high cost claims scheme and exceptional claims scheme will continue.