Medical Malpractice Insurance in South Africa

Medical Malpractice Insurance is required for Practitioners and Establishments. Medical Malpractice Insurance indemnifies the Insured for bodily injury or mental injury, illness, disease, or death of any patient or person caused or alleged by malpractice of the Insured.

 Medical Malpractise Insurance: Litigation claims are on the increase, especially Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Medical Malpractise Insurance: Litigation claims are on the increase
Especially in Obstetrics/Gynaecology
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 Broker Directory News See News on: Medical Indemnity for SA Docters (January 31, 2017)

SA is experiencing an explosion in medical malpractice litigation claims in the public and private sector, where especially the following four medical specialities are continually, persistently, and mercilessly being targeted for litigation: Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Neurosurgery, Neonatology and Orthopaedics – which is detrimental to the healthcare system.

A contributing factor to the higher awards of many of these medical malpractice claims, is the fact that many relate to children or infants, where the repercussions and damages suffered are long-term.

If you are in the medical profession, Medical Malpractice Insurance is essential. Medical Malpractice Insurance ensures that medical professionals have full protection in place to respond to their potential liabilities, where it protects both the healthcare professional, as well as the patients they treat.

This requirement goes beyond doctors and specialists: Physiotherapists, Homeopaths, Nursing staff, Health care and elderly homes professionals, to name a few, should all consider having this cover. Remember medical malpractice is mandatory and may limit exposure to claims made by patients.

Cover should apply to both practitioners and establishments. This is to cover them if anything goes wrong as a result of perceived or actual negligence or malpractice. With the awareness of rights that grows under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), together with the increased protection and stringent requirements of the Act, more and more consumers tend to litigate.

A medical practitioner without PI protection would be personally liable for these costs and would run the risk of having all their assets attached, facing financial ruin, and leaving their patients financially uncompensated.

A few product options and specialist insurers are offering cover for medical malpractice. These options may be confusing...

In fact, the smartest thing you can do is -- Get a specialist broker to do it for you!

Also, note the following guidelines, tips and considerations applicable to Medical Malpractice Insurance:
  • Products Liability: Products Liability Insurance covers the insured against claims from patients or third parties that may arise through the nature or condition of a product.
  • Public Liability: Public Liability Insurance would cover the insured for bodily injury and/or third parties. Where third parties alleges damages caused by the insured. Some products offer extensions for wrongful arrest, assault or wrongful dismissals (Check with your Broker, as certain sub–limits may apply to the section).
  • Professional Indemnity (PI): The need for Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance for private medical practitioners, has never been greater – not only to protect the medical professional, but also their patients, in the event that something does go wrong. Professional Indemnity (PI) will cover the insured for professional breach of duty. Breach of implied warranty of authority, or trust done in good faith. Other areas of professional indemnity cover may include the following: Defamation of character, injury, damage or destruction to documents entrusted to the insured, copyright infringement etc. A medical practitioner without Personal Indemnity (PI) protection, would be personally liable for these claims/costs and would run the risk of having all their assets attached, facing financial ruin, and leaving their patients financially uncompensated.
  • Medical Malpractice Insurance: Thie Medical Malpractice Insurance cover will typically cover the insured in instances where a patient or a person claims malpractice (or negligence) against the insured. This could be for bodily injury, mental illness, death or disease.
  • Direct or Indirect Liability may occur: Indirect liability is where an employee through the scope of their employment, causes harm or directly where a practitioner harms a patient.
 Medical Malpractice Insurance: Cover for negligence available
Medical Malpractice Insurance: Cover for negligence available
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