The Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Act 2017, which was signed into law on 6 November 2017, outlines new mandatory legal requirements regarding levels of professional medical indemnity for all medical practitioners currently registered or applying to register with the Medical Council.

As of 6 November 2017, first time applicants for registration will need to provide evidence of professional indemnity insurance. Medical practitioners currently registered with the Medical Council will need to confirm their professional indemnity arrangements at the renewal of their registration in June 2018.

The Medical Council cannot register an applicant unless it is satisfied that the minimum level of indemnity (if any) applicable to that practitioner is in place.

When applying for registration with the Medical Council, all medical practitioners will have to complete a Professional Indemnity Declaration Form (‘PIDF’).

All medical practitioners must complete the PIDF but some have an additional requirement of producing a certificate from their insurer/broker or indemnity provider.

In this regard, medical practitioners engaged in the practice of medicine at a hospital listed in Appendix 1 (public hospitals) must complete a PIDF affirming they will only treat patients in a hospital listed in Appendix 1. By contrast, if medical practitioners are engaged in the practice of medicine as a consultant in certain hospitals listed in Appendix 2 (private hospitals) they must complete the PIDF and in addition produce to the Medical Council a certificate from their insurer/ broker or indemnity provider. The minimum level of indemnity required is to be held in Appendix 2 to the PIDF.

If medical practitioners are engaged in the practice of medicine at any facility (including general practice) which is not listed in Appendix 1 or 2, they will also be required to demonstrate to the Medical Council evidence of the relevant level of indemnity held by them, by way of certificate from their insurer/ broker or indemnity provider. The minimum level of indemnity required is set out in Appendix 3 to the PIDF.

Medical practitioners must ensure that the minimum level of indemnity applicable to them is in place at all times and must notify the Medical Council within 14 days if they contravene this requirement. The Medical Council may request evidence of indemnity. If a medical practitioner fails to provide evidence of indemnity within 21 days the Medical Council may remove the practitioner’s registration with the Medical Council.

All medical practitioners are advised to familiarise themselves now with the new professional indemnity insurance requirements as same applies to both first time and renewal registration applications. The Professional Indemnity Declaration Form and appendices can be accessed through the Medical Council website.