The review of the Medical Act 1971 (Akta Perubatan 1971) in 2017 brought with it some key changes, one of which is the requirement for all doctors in public and private practice to ensure that professional indemnity cover is secured as a condition of making an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) application. While this regulation adds strength to the medical profession and came into effect in 2019, the enforcement of this requirement will be seen this year for APC applications going into 2021.

As APCs cover the authority for doctors to provide medical care, these must necessarily be processed in advance for the calendar year – in the case of applications for annual year 2021, this would need to be for the period of 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021. However, from the perspective of best practice for the insurance industry, insurance cover can only be provided for exactly one year from the date of purchase. This is a necessary practice to account for the risk and liability that is being assumed by the underwriters.

These competing regulatory requirements (i.e. medical best practice vs insurance best practice) have created a situation where doctors have to wait until the current year has ended to rush and secure their professional indemnity insurance before quickly submitting their APC applications. This may understandably be stressful and time-consuming for doctors as securing professional indemnity has been traditionally an arduous process involving meeting and talking to an insurance consultant and working through the process manually.

Our Doctor Shield online platform has moved to address this by enabling doctors to secure their professional indemnity insurance for 2021 much earlier – from July 2020. Thus, in just a few months, doctors can easily secure their policy with just a few clicks and receive their policy documents via email that covers the period from the time of purchase until 31st December 2021.

Having been released last year, we are happy to note that Doctor Shield has since captured the attention of medical professionals via word-of-mouth. With awareness among the medical community having grown exponentially, many doctors have now been served by Doctor Shield and we are confident that it is becoming the gamechanger that we expected it to be. We are hopeful that these new changes will make Doctor Shield that much stronger.

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