GPs could lose their insurance cover if they sign up to free scheme, company warns

Proposal go “beyond the scope and range of cover” and insurance could be invalidated

Medisec provides insurance for doctors, and last night it warned that Government’s recently drafted proposal goes “beyond the scope and range of cover” of its policies.

Medisec provides insurance for doctors, and last night it warned that Government’s recently drafted proposal goes “beyond the scope and range of cover” of its policies.

Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 01:01

The Government’s plans to extend free GP care to all children under-six could invalidate doctors’ insurance and expose them to the risk of legal action from patients and the HSE, a leading medical insurance firm has warned.

Medisec provides insurance for doctors, and last night it warned that Government’s recently drafted proposal goes “beyond the scope and range of cover” of its policies, which are underwritten by Allianz, so any GP who signed up to the free scheme would effectively have their insurance invalidated.


Provisions
The company said that while it had no role in formulating or commenting on Government policy, doctors should be made aware of the concerns it had on the insurance, indemnity and warranty provisions in the new scheme.

Under the proposals, clauses related to insurance mandate that GPs have public liability insurance with a limit of indemnity of €6.5 million for any one claim but Medisec’s Allianz Professional Indemnity Insurance policy, carries a limit of €10 million “in the aggregate” over the course of one year. “This is quite different from the cover required by the draft agreement,” the company warned, adding that if any doctors with its policies entered into the contract, they would “not have adequate insurance cover to comply with this requirement”.


Difficulties
It also highlighted another area that could potentially cause difficulties for GPs connected to warranties and indemnities. Under the new proposals, GPs are required to indemnify the Minister for Health and the HSE “against all liability for all losses and/ or expenses which result during proper use, directly or indirectly, from defective materials, supplies, workmanship, or design, used by the service provider in carrying out the services”.

Medisec described that as “a very wide indemnity” which could see GPs indemnify the HSE against the use of defective medical equipment and supplies “which may have been provided by the HSE itself”.