If you’re thinking about practising medicine in Australia, it’s crucial that you familiarise yourself with the various insurance covers required. Regardless of what medical profession you specialise in, there is a duty of care to use medicine safely and effectively. Australia has a high standard for medical practices. And medical professionals who are considering migrating over must be ethical, trustworthy and protected to help guarantee this safety for both themselves and for their patients.

Throughout Australia, there are multiple insurance covers to be aware of. Different states have different minimum insurance requirements, so it’s vital that you double-check for the specific requirements and regulations for the area you’re relocating to. Migrating to Australia to practise medicine without adequate cover opens yourself up to huge risks. Here are some important insurance types to consider:

Medical Indemnity

Medical indemnity is a type of professional liability insurance which protects health care professionals against patients who sue. These claims are for instances where a patient believes they were harmed through treatment decisions. For all registered health professionals, including dentists, midwives, nurses, chiropractors, psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists and more, this cover is mandatory in Australia.

Depending on where you work, this insurance may be provided as part of a policy held by an employer, such as a hospital. If it’s not already provided you will need to purchase it from a medical malpractice insurance company in order to legally work. Also, if you’re starting up a new practice in Australia, make sure you’re covered as an individual, as well as your business entity.

Unfortunately, things can (and do) go wrong in medicine, regardless of your skillset and experience. Both you and your patients need to be protected should someone be harmed during medical care. Medical indemnity is a compulsory condition of registration for all medical practitioners in Australia.

Medical indemnity covers legal costs and the costs of awarded compensation, should you be found to commit an error or negligent act whilst practising medicine. This insurance is provided on a claims-made basis, which means it covers claims made in the period of insurance and notified to the insurance provider in this timeframe.

Medical Mal-practice Insurance

Because medical practices have different risk exposures from individual professionals, a separate insurance cover may be needed. Medical Mal-practice insurance is only necessary if you’re wanting to start or purchase your own medical practice business in Australia.

Without a medical mal-practice policy in place, any claims made against the medical practice can leave everyone exposed.

Management Protection

Whilst not exclusively for medical professionals, management protection safeguards anyone in a management position, including directors and trustees. This insurance cover isn’t compulsory but offers protection from a wide range of risks you may be exposed to within the industry, as well as personal liability for wrongful acts.

If you’re looking to start your own medical business or work in a management role, MP insurance will help protect your clients from management-related expenses.

Cyber Protection

The medical industry relies on health and patient information to practise medicine safely and effectively. Should this sensitive data be compromised by a cyber breach, the risks can be catastrophic. Technology is used by medical professionals regularly to manage patient conditions, improve health outcomes and make better-informed decisions.

Cyber protection insurance is designed to mitigate the risks of data exposure. Should a cyber-attack occur, the right insurance policy will help to offset the costs involved in recovery. This level of insurance isn’t mandatory in Australia, but if you’re looking to set up your own medical business or practice, it’s strongly advised in order to protect you and your patients.

Workers Compensation

Workers compensation is an obligatory insurance cover for all employers throughout Australia. For medical professionals wanting to migrate to Australia to start their own practice, workers compensation will offer protection from financial costs should a staff member sustain a work-related injury or illness. The type of insurance coverage varies from state to state, but ultimately ensures that employee wages & salaries are covered.

Public Liability

Although public liability insurance in Australia generally isn’t mandatory, it is prudent for all doctors and medical practitioners to take it out before they commence work.

Public liability will cover your individual liability for injury or damage to patients or their property. This includes things such as a patient or visitor slipping over and hurting themselves at your practice, or accidentally damaging a patient’s belongings during a home visit. Public liability insurance does not cover you for any advice or treatment you provide, however. This is where medical malpractice and indemnity insurance are crucial.