Is this the end of universal indemnity?

A government review recommends abolishing the surcharge cap

Doctors with a long history of patient complaints could be forced out of private practice under a proposal that would effectively dismantle universal medical indemnity for doctors.

Under current rules, introduced in the aftermath of the indemnity crisis, an “insurer of last resort” must offer medical cover to all doctors, including those at highest risk.

While the premiums for these doctors are generally higher, insurers are not allowed to charge them more than double the premium set for other doctors working in the same specialty and area.

However, a Federal Government review, published this month, recommends lifting or abolishing the surcharge cap altogether, potentially making premiums unaffordable for these doctors. 

AMA president Dr Michael Gannon has strongly opposed the proposal, saying it would turn indemnity providers into “de facto medical regulators”.

“I’m an obstetrician so I have a

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