If I cease practice in Australia, do I still need cover?

Yes, in most circumstances. That is because even when you cease practice, liability or potential liability relating to your past clinical practice continues.

After ceasing practice there is a potential for claims to arise from incidents that have occurred during your practice, of which you are currently unaware, that will eventually result in a complaint or claim. Those “incurred but not known and reported” (IBNR) incidents may trigger complaints or claims for many years after you cease practice.

MIPS membership is annual and the indemnity cover through MIPS, is ‘claims made’. Therefore it is very important to know that if you wish to remain covered for emerging IBNR incidents then you will need to maintain an appropriate MIPS membership when you cease practice.

Maintaining an appropriate MIPS membership will provide you with access to appropriate member benefits, including medical indemnity “run off” cover, and MIPS Protections for emerging IBNR incidents. Your membership fee will reflect the fact that you are no longer practising.

What happens when I cease practice?

There are many reasons why a practitioner may cease practice either permanently or temporarily. These include:

  • retirement
  • maternity leave
  • permanent disability
  • working and/or returning overseas (including members working in Australia on class 422 or 457 visa, reciprocal cover or volunteer work)
  • death
  • suspension/deregistration.

If you are a medical practitioner and you meet certain eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for the Run-Off Cover Scheme (ROCS), an Australian government scheme that is designed to provide run-off cover free of charge to doctors who leave the private medical workforce. Non-medical practitioner healthcare professionals such as dental and oral health practitioners are not eligible for cover under the ROCS.

For those members not eligible for ROCS, MIPS offers an Extended Reporting Period (ERP) membership basis which provides run-off cover for practitioners who have ceased practice.

Retirement

If you are medical practitioner over 65 years, you may be eligible for ROCS.

If you are under 65 years of age or not a medical practitioner, you may select an ERP membership to provide run-off cover.

Maternity leave

If you are medical practitioner on maternity leave, you may be eligible for ROCS.

If you are not eligible for ROCS or not a medical practitioner, membership cans still provide cover whilst you are on maternity leave. Please contact Member Services for further information.

Permanent disability

If you are a medical practitioner and cease practice due to permanent disablement, you may be eligible for ROCS.

If you are not eligible for ROCS or are a dental practitioner who has ceased practice due to permanent disablement, you may select an ERP category.

Working overseas

MIPS does not provide automatic cover for practice outside of Australia (MIPS will when agreed in writing by MIPS, for example, members acting in a voluntary capacity in accordance with terms and conditions, such as providing gratuitous services to Australian sports teams or in employer indemnified (eg hospital employed) positions in some countries). Depending on your time spent outside of Australia, you may need to consider an appropriate ERP.

Returning overseas

If you are an overseas medical practitioner who practiced medicine in Australia on a class 422 or 457 visa and you are leaving Australia permanently, then you may be eligible for ROCS.

Cover for volunteer work

Short-term MIPS membership benefits including insurance cover and non-medical indemnity discretionary protection (MIPS Protections) can be requested by members intending to provide gratuitous health care services as a volunteer in developing countries or when accompanying Australian sporting and cultural groups to countries (other than USA and where USA laws apply).

In such cases it is necessary for a specific application to be made to MIPS, detailing the nature of the work intended, the anticipated location and duration of that overseas activity including the dates between which the extension of member benefits outside of Australia is sought. Such requests should be made in writing and directed to Member Services.

Death

Medical practice:  if you are applying as the legal representative on behalf of the estate of a deceased medical practitioner member, that deceased member will be eligible for ROCS.

Non-medical practitioner practice:  if you are applying as the legal representative on behalf of the estate of a deceased member other than a medical practitioner, the member will be placed in an ERP.

Suspension/deregistration

You must notify MIPS in writing regarding changes to your Australian health practitioner regulation agency or healthcare board registration (eg suspension/deregistration). Once MIPS has been notified of the changes to your registration you may need to select an appropriate ERP membership category.

If you are an existing MIPS member and wish to cancel your membership, please complete the Ceasing Practice or Cancelling Membership Form