Overview

This overview is not a summary of any insurance product, and you should have regard to the precise terms and exclusions of any quotation and the contract of insurance provided by the various insurers which will always accompany every quotation.

Our indemnity cover

Natmed Medical Defence (Pty) Ltd offers medical practitioners affordable, claims-made cover through South African registered insurers, such as Constantia Insurance Company Limited, AIG South Africa Ltd and The Hollard Insurance Company Ltd, who provide contracts of insurance to clients, in accordance with the Short-term Insurance Act. To ensure peace of mind, especially considering large baby-related claims, the cover offered through Natmed Medical Defence is not discretionary. Each policy details the relevant indemnity limits (up to R60 million in the aggregate per annum, for individuals), as well as the precise terms and exclusions of your cover.

In addition, the policy provides, on application, a free extended reporting period upon retirement, for an initial period of three years. You can thereafter extend this cover annually on application to cater for possible claims such as claims for infant patients who only claim when they reach the age of majority and also to cover your estate (subject to prevailing underwriting criteria and, if required, payment of additional premiums to the insurer – although insurers haven’t charged for this before).

To further assist you with covering future claims, any adverse or unusual events which may give rise to claims that are notified to us when they occur during any period of insurance (even if you do not feel that you were at fault) are covered in future, irrespective of when any claim in respect of those events is actually made against you. These adverse or unusual events can be reported using our secure, online incident-management system.

If you are not aware of any adverse or unusual events and therefore there is no notification when they occur and a claim is lodged for an event that took place whilst you are insured through us, then that claim will fall under the period of insurance in which the claim is actually lodged (which could be years after the event) subject to the terms and exclusions of the policy in force at the time when the claim is made. There will however be no cover if known adverse circumstances, events or the claims were not notified during the period of insurance when they occur, or during any extended reporting period of the cover obtained through us.

Natmed Medical Defence has 23 years experience in short-term insurance, with sound risk management and online systems that support policy transactions, administrative and claims or incident management 24-hours a day. Besides immediate access to our internal legal team, litigation is handled by experienced attorneys, such as those on the disputes and litigation team at Norton Rose Fulbright, and other large law firms, to ensure that you always have timeous and effective legal assistance in the event of a claim, a complaint or any issues with the HPCSA.

You can request insurance quotations at www.Natmed.mobi, where premiums are calculated by the insurer for each individual and tailored to you and your practice.

Additional services

As the most specialised medical malpractice insurance brokerage in South Africa, we have dedicated the past 18 years to developing and refining the medical malpractice products obtained by Natmed Medical Defence from various insurers. We are relentless in our conviction to improve the industry for the benefit of all, especially improving patient safety.

In this respect, we are more than a brokerage. We develop programmes designed to actively influence positive behaviour in the industry, which assists in managing the costs of malpractice premiums and of medical schemes, effectively limiting cost inflation whilst backing up this work with meaningful support and educational programmes for you.

As ambitious as this over-arching goal may be, we have successfully introduced the following practical mechanisms to achieve this, including:

  • Peer support programme
    We offer procedure-specific assistance in theatre, via our national panel of experienced specialists, to refine surgical performance and improve patient safety. This assistance ensures on-going education which limits malpractice claims and therefore premium inflation for the entire insurance pool.
  • Training applications
    We'll soon be launching CME/CPD accredited online and mobile phone applications for on-going training and education of all medical practitioners, including nurses. Additionally, an obstetrics starter pack, inspired by the two books from Dr. Ernst R?semann and Dr. Cecil Craig, is included for obstetricians and nurses entering the private sector. The books are being updated using a crowdsourcing model that draws on the expertise and experience of multiple, contributing healthcare practitioners and specifically from Natmed Medical Defence clients, various private hospitals and legal experts. These training applications will supplement and will be compliant with the new national standard of protocols and guidelines being compiled by SASOG
  • Early mediation
    Our early voluntary mediation system is developed in conjunction with and managed by the experienced team at Conflict Dynamics. This mechanism ensures that, as soon as patients or healthcare providers become aware of any problem, a dialogue is established with potential claimants, potentially allowing for immediate resolution of claims without the trauma of the legal process and concomitant delay in resolution. This does not replace defending claims which are without merit nor the use of other claims resolutions mechanisms.
  • Central malpractice claims registry
    The imminent introduction of our central malpractice claims registry by major schemes and the ongoing discussion with regulators, will assist funders in identifying dishonest or fraudulent claims by scheme members for future medical expenses already paid by malpractice insurers. Avoiding these duplicate payments will have a positive impact on medical malpractice premium inflation (for doctors and hospitals) and medical scheme contributions and benefit design. The aim is to ensure that genuine claimants always receive deserved compensation, with claims managed as seamlessly as possible with medical schemes.
  • Life-long reimbursement for baby claims
    We believe that injured babies specifically, and other harmed patients, with potentially long life-expectancy should be supported for life by paying future medical claims as they arise following medical malpractice events. This avoids over- or under-estimating life expectancy. Under-estimation costs the industry (providers and funders) by overpaying claims. Under-estimation is catastrophic for patients who are under-paid for future medical expenses, placing undue pressure on schemes. Our scheme-based tariff model, supported by major industry participants, including experienced plaintiff attorneys, ensures fairness and financial sustainability for all, once again impacting positively on premiums.

The combined effect of these projects, mechanisms and educational programmes is designed to improve industry performance positively, aimed at limiting any negative impact of medical malpractice premiums and tariffs, and ensuring that specialists, such as obstetricians, are retained in the professions where they are needed.

Quotations can be requested and cover can be managed actively, using our complete transactional system at www.Natmed.mobi where the policy terms can be found.