What is a medical defence organisation (MDO)?

MIPS is a member-owned not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting our members with comprehensive insurance cover, as well as resources, advice, and 24/7 support from experienced medico-legal experts. 

About medical defence organisations

Medical defence organisations in Australia owe their heritage to member-based organisations established in the UK in the late 19th century. The Medical Defence Union (MDU), established in 1885, and the Medical Protection Society (MPS), established in 1892, set the conventions for how indemnity for medical and other healthcare practitioners would be managed in the English-speaking world. They remain two of the world’s most established medical defence organisations.

They did not offer insurance, rather funds and services to support members at the discretion of the organisation. Each request was considered through either an executive board or council of representatives. These organisations established subscription fees for membership rather than premiums for policies (which is how most insurance is sold) and did not initially draw any distinction between the risks that one doctor may bring to an organisation compared to another. The MDU charged just 10 shillings per membership in its inaugural year.

How medical indemnity works in Australia

MIPS was established in Australia by MPS but separated from its parent organisation after 10 years of operation. When regulations were reformed in 2003, the way medical indemnity insurance was offered in Australia changed.

In Australia there are a number of providers of indemnity insurance for doctors, either MDOs or operated commercially. For dental and other healthcare professionals, the regulation differs and there is no list of authorised insurers and so there are potentially more indemnity insurers to choose from. Some brokers may re-sell membership or insurance, however, MIPS Membership is only available directly through MIPS.

Benefits of MIPS Membership

With MIPS, you benefit from member-first protection, support and advice from a medical defence organisation that understands your unique needs. 

As a MIPS Member, your cover is unique to Healthcare Professionals supporting where, how, and what you practise. For all the details on our more understandable, comprehensive insurance cover, see the Member Handbook.

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Comprehensive Indemnity Cover

Providing you protection for up to $20 million in claims*

*The maximum amount we will pay in the aggregate per annual membership period.

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24/7 Medico-Legal Advice

Ability to speak with an experienced professional any time of the day

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Access to accredited professional development (CPD) and on-demand learning.


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2. Review your quote
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3. Apply to MIPS
MIPS membership ceases at 30 June each year. Check with your existing provider for cancellation fees. You can pay your membership fee by monthly instalments at no additional cost.

Insurance cover is subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policy. The information provided is general advice only and does not consider your personal circumstances or needs. You should review the Member Handbook Combined PDS and FSG and/or contact MIPS on 1800 061 113, before making a decision. Information is current as at the date published.