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Medical Defence Organisations

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications for clinicians and patients of medical defence organisations making their indemnity available on a discretionary basis; and if he will make a statement. [115899]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: Professional indemnity should ensure that patients who have suffered harm receive the compensation to which they are entitled. Indemnity cover should be occurrence based, that is claims are met that arise from events when the clinician was covered but only come to light later, even if this is after the period of cover has ceased. Experience in the United Kingdom is that proper indemnity cover can be provided through membership of a defence society or a suitable insurance policy.