More medical indemnity claims were filed in the Australian private health sector than in the public sector in 2011-12, a new report reveals.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), insurers managed 1,700 new and 1,700 closed private sector claims during this 12 month period, but only 1,300 of each type from the public sector (excluding Western Australia, for which figures were unavailable).
Professional indemnity insurance protects medical practitioners by providing cover when they are liable for costs through a breach of professional duty, such as in cases of medical negligence.
AIHW spokesperson Nigel Harding noted that these latest statistics were a reversal of what is normally seen in indemnity claim figures.
“This is the first time private sector claims have been in the majority, even allowing for the absence of public sector claim information from Western Australia in 2010-11 and 2011-12,” he said in a June 28 statement.
The AIHW revealed that 54 per cent of all claims closed during the 2011-12 period cost less than $10,000. A quarter (25 per cent) were worth between $10,000 and $100,000, 16 per cent between $100,000 and $500,000. Just five per cent cost $500,000 or more.
“In 2011-12, as in previous years, claims associated with alleged incidents in public hospitals and day surgeries were often more costly than claims associated with private medical clinics and with private hospitals and day surgeries,” explained Mr Harding.
Patients who have sustained an injury through a breach of a medical practitioner’s duty of care may be able to pursue compensation for medical negligence.
When successful, Medical Negligence claims can secure compensation for the costs of medical care brought about by the incident, economic loss and/or non-economic loss such as pain and suffering.
It can sometimes be difficult for people to determine whether or not they may be eligible, which is why it is always a good idea to seek expert advice where possible.
Medical negligence solicitors in Sydney can assess claims and draw on a team of professional consultants who together provide a wealth of experience in the area of medical negligence claims.
After thoroughly investigating the merits of a claim, they can then provide an analysis of the chances of its success and advice on what actions are best to take to secure compensation.