The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has welcomed today’s announcement by Minister for Health Greg Hunt that the Commonwealth is establishing a COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme for healthcare professionals administering the vaccines.
Today’s announcement provides certainty for those participating in the crucially important vaccine rollout and should engender further community confidence in the vaccine program.
Medical indemnity insurers have been an important voice in discussions of this issue for some time and have appreciated the constructive way in which Minister Hunt and his Department have engaged on this issue.
Insurers had been concerned that those involved in administering and distributing the vaccine and managing any reactions could have been exposed to an increase in claims given the subjective nature of judgments that doctors and staff have to make in an evolving environment.
The announcement of the COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme is an important step in providing the assurance medical indemnity insurers and their policyholders have been seeking.
Comment attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO Insurance Council of Australia:
The COVID-19 mass vaccination program is a large and complex undertaking in a rapidly evolving environment.
The ICA has been working with its members in the healthcare indemnity sector, Government and other stakeholders to ensure that risks for professionals involved in the administration of the vaccine are identified and addressed.
Insurers recognise their important role in supporting practitioners who are on the front line of delivering this vitally important program for all Australians.
We congratulate the Government and Minister Hunt in particular on today’s welcome announcement.