The Government has launched a consultation on appropriate indemnity cover for healthcare professionals not covered by state-backed schemes.

The consultation is seeking views on whether to require healthcare professionals to hold cover that is regulated.

The consultation will close on the 28 February.

‘This consultation is yet another missed opportunity to tackle the real issues that drive rising costs for healthcare professionals,’ MDDUS chief executive, Chris Kenny, said.

‘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.

‘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 the Government to urge them to focus on where change is really needed.’

Compensation

Concerns have been raised that current arrangements could prevent some patients from getting appropriate compensation.

This is because these arrangements can be discretionary, where providers aren’t contractually obliged to meet the costs of claims.

‘Any proposals to introduce regulation will be subject to public consultation and require legislation’ Raj Rattan, dental director at Dental Protection, said.

‘So it will be some time before the details are agreed and any changes implemented.’


Related stories: