Statement on UMP/AMIL by Senator Patterson
I am writing to doctors to tell them that they can have complete confidence that the Federal Government's guarantee to the provisional liquidator for those insured with UMP/AMIL will cover them for the work they do between April 29 and June 30, 2002.
1 May 2002
Statement on UMP/AMIL by Senator PattersonI am writing to doctors to tell them that they can have complete confidence that the Federal Government's guarantee to the provisional liquidator for those insured with UMP/AMIL will cover them for the work they do between April 29 and June 30, 2002.
If they still have any concerns over the Government's undertaking, having it in writing should allay those concerns.
Our guarantee to UMP/AMIL for the doctors will be confirmed by legislation. There is no reason why they should not be servicing their patients.
I call on those doctors who have still not returned to work to now reconsider in the light of the Prime Minister's guarantee and my written guarantee.
The major doctors' groups, the Royal Australian College of GPs and the Australian Medical Association, have accepted the Government's guarantee and have recommended that their members get back to work to look after their patients.
I call on those groups who are still worried that they are not covered to reconsider. I know some neurosurgeons and some rural doctors have said they are still not happy with the Government's iron-clad guarantee.
I hope that putting the guarantee in writing to the doctors will reassure them that the Government's offer is watertight.
The Government has worked hard to implement a transition period following the problems with UMP.
We have a two-month breathing space to work on viable long-term solutions to the problems of UMP/AMIL.
We have also started work on the wider issue of medical indemnity. Last week, I chaired a forum of all major stakeholders to start to put in place sustainable medical indemnity arrangements to protect patients.
This is a complex area. There is no simple, single answer. It requires co-operation and consultation among governments, doctors, the legal profession and consumers.
I believe that we have established the framework and identified the issues to tackle this and come up with a lasting solution that is in the best interests of patients and doctors.
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