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Abstract

Extract:

In the last year or so we have heard a lot about how there is a crisis in medical indemnity and in the insurance industry generally. We have witnessed large increases in premiums for public liability and professional indemnity insurance. For some doctors (such as obstetricians - doctors who deliver babies) it is said that the potential for litigation is so great that they are obliged to pay premiums of $140,000 per annum for professional indemnity insurance. This apparent crisis was partially caused by the collapse of HIH. This resulted in an industry wide crisis in insurance as premiums that had been kept low by vigorous competition began to increase. The Federal government responded to this crisis by commissioning a Review of the Law of Negligence in July 2002. This review was chaired by The Honourable David Andrew Ipp a New South Wales Supreme Court judge. The first report of the review was completed in August 2002 and is known as the Ipp Report. This report suggested some statutory reforms to the law of negligence to deal with the burgeoning premiums for insurance. As the recommendations of this report have been implemented there have been significant statutory changes to the law of negligence for medical doctors and other professionals. The changes that have been introduced in a number of states are complex. This article will raise some of the most important and interesting changes.

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