The Act was commenced in November 2017 and amends the Medical Practitioners Act 2007. It introduces a requirement for every registered medical practitioner to ensure that they have in place the "minimum level" of indemnity cover (if any) applicable to him/her while they continue to be registered.
Any medical practitioner applying for registration or seeking to secure restoration to the Register will now not be in a position to do so without first providing evidence to the Medical Council that the minimum level of indemnity (if any) applicable to that practitioner is in place. Medical practitioners currently registered with the Medical Council will be requested to confirm their position with regard to professional indemnity arrangements at the renewal of their registration in June 2018.
When making an application for registration with the Medical Council, all practitioners will be required to complete a Professional Indemnity Declaration Form ("PIDF"). Applicants may also be required to provide a certificate from their insurance broker/indemnifier depending on their practice arrangement. For example, practitioners who will be engaged in the practice of medicine as a consultant exclusively in a hospital and/or healthcare facility that is managed by the HSE will need to complete the PIDF only. However, practitioners who will be engaged in the practice of medicine as a consultant in a private hospital and/or healthcare facility will be required to produce the certificate evidencing indemnity, in addition to the PIDF.
Failure by a registered medical practitioner to provide evidence of indemnity pursuant to a request by the Medical Council, may result in removal of his or her registration. If the medical practitioner does not fall within any class of medical practitioners in respect of which a minimum level of indemnity is concerned, they must provide evidence of that fact.
The National Treasury Management Agency is assigned the role of setting the applicable minimum levels of indemnity. In specifying the minimum levels of indemnity applicable to classes of medical practitioners, regard is to be had to the level of risk inherent in the medical speciality practised by a member of that class. This is to include risks identified by indemnity providers as particularly associated with the relevant speciality.