Council for Medical Affairs aims to negotiate with insurance companies

The Council for Medical Affairs has gathered in a plenary meeting last week to discuss the evaluation of the implementation of the Medical Error Act that came into force almost two years ago, the Health Bureau (SSM) advised in a statement.

Several topics were discussed such as the compulsory Professional Liability Insurance for Healthcare Providers that was established by the aforementioned law, where 58 members represented 47 medical associations, academic institutions, as well as students.

At the meeting, health professionals expressed particular concerns about the insurance premium, which was considered too high and which does not give consideration to reducing premiums under circumstances where insurance companies have no medical incident liability.
The professionals also raised concerns regarding the health sector’s current lack of negotiating power when facing insurance companies and called for amendments to the law.

During the plenary, the Secretary General, Leong Pui San, also presented the current status of insurance uptake during the past year as well as statistics relating to cases of medical litigation involving private clinics.

In addition, some of the council members proposed the establishment of a judicial actions’ fund, which could be funded by deposits of 10 to 20 percent of annual insurance premiums in order to cover the costs of legal action and compensatory fees.

Other topics addressed in the meeting included the suspension or cancellation of licenses, including during the validity of transitory provisions of the Legal Regime of Qualification and Registration of Health Care Professionals, as well as the conditions for the resumption of activity for retired physicians.

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