The problematic regulations of 30 August 2010 relating to indemnity cover for registered health practitioners have now been repealed by the Minister of Health.

That will allow time for consultation and debate with all the roleplayers affected by the proposed regulation.

Among the issues which need to be resolved are:

  • Who will be able to provide the indemnity cover? There is no reason to limit the indemnity provider to South African insurers where entities such as the Medical Protection Society and Lloyds, who are authorised to provide insurance in South Africa, already do so efficiently and reliably.

  • What minimum level of indemnity is required?

  • What period is the cover required for?

  • Why the obligation to obtain insurance should be limited to persons registered with the Health Professions Council in a profession registered in terms of the Health Professions Act. Presumably the intention of obliging indemnity cover is to protect patients. There are many other health service providers in one form or another to whom patients are exposed and who should have similar indemnification.

The repeal of the regulation does mean that for now, no health practitioner is required to have any form of indemnity cover.

The prudent health practitioner would ensure that they hold appropriate indemnity cover with a suitable limit of indemnity, for their benefit and that of their patients.

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