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1st December 2011


It is the end of the year and the new year will be here soon. The good news is that there will not be an increase in subscription rate for year 2012 despite the escalating court awards. Recently a High Court awarded RM5.4million for a brain damaged child – this does not include the interests and legal cost!

MDM Bhd is ten years old and the company has done very well. To commemorate the 10th Anniversary an essay competition has been organized. The students of all medical faculties in Malaysia have been invited to participate. The topics are –

  1. Should doctors lie on behalf of patient?
  2. How medical students can contribute to the practice of patient safety
  3. Organ donation should be mandated by law

A prize of RM2,000 will be given to the winner of each category.

It is very important for a practicing doctor to have adequate indemnity cover. Medical defence organizations in Malaysia provide unlimited cover. There have been disturbing news on the indemnity scenario. An insurance company has compelled its members to contribute to the court award in medical negligence claims. An E.N.T. surgeon had to contribute RM50,000 to a court award of RM190,000. An obstetrician had to pay RM100,000 to a court award of RM600,000. Another obstetrician had to pay RM150,000 in a  court award of RM2.3 million.

Just recently a High Court awarded RM5.4 million against an obstetrician and the hospital for a brain damaged child. This is the highest award for a medical negligence claim in the country. This award with interest will be at least RM7million! The defendants have filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal. We are very sure the insurance company will ask the obstetrician to contribute. Doctors have to seriously consider the type of indemnity cover they need. The premium in medical insurance indemnity may be cheaper than the subscription of the medical defence organisations but in the latter the doctor does not contribute to the court award. There are also many other advantages.

We are of the opinion that the court awards for medical negligence will escalate. In view of this MDM Bhd is proud of our efforts at Tort Law reforms (mediation, statute period, no fault insurance, engaging medical students).  

In 2010 we consulted the Chief Justice to consider implementing mediation in medical negligence claims before the case goes to trial. He most graciously agreed and he has implemented it administratively.

We have also prepared a paper to propose to reduce the statute period of medical negligence claims from 6 years to 3 years for private hospitals in West Malaysia. We will be approaching the relevant authorities on this proposal. The three years statute period is the norm in United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia.

We have also commissioned a professor of a Law Faculty of a local university to research a paper on No Fault Insurance on medical negligence claims in Malaysia.

Finally in Tort Law reform we are engaging medical students of the local medical faculties with lectures on how to avoid medical negligence claims. It is best they be informed very early in their medical education and career.

MDM Bhd strives to have quality membership. On our part we will keep reminding our members the best practice to adopt. You are reminded that your indemnity with MDM is for your personal practice. It does not cover your locums or your company. You are advised to employ locums with valid Annual Practicing Certificate and medical indemnity or you as the employer will be answerable and responsible to the complaints lodged by your patient.

Again, for those of you who are assisting a colleague, usually in a difficult, major operation please ensure that consent has been obtained for your assistance and that the patient is made aware that you are assisting.

Please inform MDM Bhd when you have shifted practice or started an additional practice. Your indemnity only covers you at a named practice. Please also update your correspondence address.

With Best Wishes for a successful 2012.

Tan Sri Dato’ Abu Bakar Suleiman
Medical Defence Malaysia Berhad

•  Case Notes 2016

•  Annual Report 2016

•  Case Notes 2015

•  Annual Report 2015

•  Case Notes 2014

•  Annual Report 2014

•  Case Notes 2013

•  Annual Report 2013

•  Ethics Essay Competition ? 10th Anniversary of MDM Bhd

•  Case Notes 2012

•  Annual Report 2012
(1st December 2011)

•  Governance and Conflict Management Systems Training
(28th May 2012)

•  Case Reports for 2011
(1st December 2011)

•  Annual Report 2011
(1st December 2011)

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