New data on medical indemnity claims in Australia

Released today was another annual AIHW report, covering medical indemnity claims in Australia for the 2012 – 2013 year.

This report presents data on the number, nature and costs of public sector and private sector medical indemnity claims, revising also the claims data from the previous four years.

New claims

The number of new public sector claims was 947 (less than any of the previous four years) and the number of new private sector claims about 3,300 (similar to the previous two years).


Clinical areas

The two clinician specialties recorded most often for new claims were:

  • General surgery (11% – 107 claims) and
  • Emergency medicine (10% – 92 claims).

There were nine other specialties connected with between 2% and 7% of new claims, including Orthopaedic surgery, both non-procedural and procedural general practice, and Obstetrics / Gynaecology.

Current claim projected values

  • The reserve was less than $50,000 for 31% (876 claims); 
  • 42% (1,187 claims) had a reserve range between $100,000 and $500,000; 
  • 16% (450 claims) had a reserve value of at least $500,000.

Closed claim values

Of the claims 5,309 claims closed in 2012–13:

  • 15% were closed at no cost;
  • 38% cost less than $10,000 (including the 15% above);
  • 29% cost between $10,000 and $100,000;
  • 25% cost between $100,000 and $500,000;
  • 9% cost more than $500,000.


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