11-02-2004, 06:16 PM
The medical indemnity crisis has focussed on sports medicine, with expert advice that doctors are not necessarily covered for malpractice when travelling overseas with Australian sports teams. Federal government legislation has been passed to protect and underwrite the medical malpractice insurers, but it specifically excludes doctors working professionally overseas. Doctors in Australia that will potentially be affected are professional rugby union, rugby league and Olympic sport team doctors. United Medical Protection has advised its doctors, such as ACT Brumbies team doctor Warren McDonald, not to travel with the team as his insurance is not considered able to provide unlimited cover. As a result, the ACT Brumbies will travel to New Zealand this weekend without a doctor. Read more at SMH. UMP has been rescued from insolvency in recent times so is being very conservative in its advice, but it is understandable that team doctors are not going to feel comfortable working in an environment where they are not insured. Read more at Foxsports regarding team coverage and the effect on the Olympics.