Medical defence organisations (MDOs) have long been a trusted resource of training and vital indemnity for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals.
MDOs provide crucial support to the healthcare industry.
Doctors’ often join an MDO when they are still students, and as long as things go smoothly their membership continues – probably unchanged - throughout their entire medical career.
But membership indemnity is often ‘discretionary’, which means it’s not guaranteed and payment of claims will be subject to the MDOs discretion. The discretion can be applied at any time, limiting or withdrawing assistance for the member doctor.
The worst time for things to go wrong.
Unfortunately, doctors might not even realise that their indemnity is discretionary until it’s too late. The first mention of the discretionary nature would only occur when they – or a colleague - have their indemnity withheld.
Of course, this will only happen when a claim is already underway.
All doctors should consider the risks of discretionary indemnity, and consider a medical malpractice contractual insurance policy as a potential solution.