Posted February 01, 2020 06:53:49 Australia’s chief health officer has told the Senate health committee that he would not be legally liable for damages caused by a malpractice claim in the event of a medical accident.
Professor of Health Law and Policy at the University of Melbourne Professor Michael Gaughan said it was a legal matter for the Government.
He said the matter could arise as a result of a legal proceeding or as a consequence of the breach of fiduciary duty that could arise if a person was negligent in performing their duties.
“It would be a matter for a legal case to determine whether a breach of duty occurred, so that there would be an opportunity to defend themselves,” Professor Gaugham said.
“The Government has a duty of care in relation to all patients, so there would need to be some kind of a process to identify when a breach had occurred.”
He said it would be inappropriate for the Federal Government to be the ultimate insurer of a claim, but it was not required to be.
The hearing into the state’s legal malformation liability insurance system began with a question about the definition of malpractice and a response from the Government on Thursday morning.
The Attorney-General’s Department has asked the Senate inquiry into malpractice liability to consider a proposed amendment to the Bill.
In the wake of the ABC’s report last week on the Medicare malpractice reform, Professor Goughan said he believed the bill was in the right direction.
“I do believe that the bill is well positioned to achieve the important outcome that is that all Australians will have access to a robust and effective malpractice policy system,” he said.